Thursday, February 26, 2009

Facing being an Orphan at 60

It is hard to face that I now represent the older generation. I am the oldest surviving child, the oldest surviving grandchild of my mother’s family. I hope with time I will gain strength, perspective and fortitude to carry on my family’s values, traditions and cultural roots.

What a responsibility it is to be the matriarch of the family! Matriarch—the term never crossed my mind until I became an orphan at 60, when both my parents died. It is an awesome responsibility for me to make certain that the generational link is never severed.

I’m not anyone’s child anymore. There is no smooth transition from being a child in the family to becoming an orphan. One day you have a parent and the next day you don’t. As a lifelong pleaser, it’s quite a revelation to know that there is no one to approve or disappoint anymore-- only yourself. You are it!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today marks my father's death two years ago

Today commemorates the 2nd year of my father’s death. I will always remember this date because it is a day before my birthday. I prayed that he would not die on my birthday but dying the day before my birthday is really not any better. I will always remember this date for the rest of my life as the day I lost my daddy.

My father was afraid of death but was prepared for it in a strange way. He had written his obituary many years before his death; picked the picture he wanted to attach to his death notice and had pre-paid for his mausoleum space (right below my mother's space).

Approximately one month before his death, he had quit eating. This was odd behavior for him because he loved to eat. He did not have an appetite and pushed food away and lost weight. He lacked mobility and balance. He was going downhill fast and entered Hospice. One week later he was gone. I would like to think that at the end he was not afraid of death at all but wanted to be with my mother who had died five months earlier.

So today, I fondly remember his beautiful smile, his loving words, and his wisdom. He was a mentor not only to my brother but also to me. He was a true example of what a father should be to his children. I know that he is happy in heaven with my mother.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Letter to My Parents on Valentine’s Day

Dear Mama and Daddy,
I miss you. Today on Valentine’s Day, I miss getting the loving card from you. I miss the phone call that wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I miss your hugs and kisses.
In your honor, I made a point to send especially beautiful Valentine cards to my sons, their wives and my grandchildren. I thought of you, mama, when I was choosing the cards. You always took such great care in purchasing the most appropriate cards that showed the depth of your love. You and Daddy always exchanged cards. Daddy, after mama had died, we found the cards you saved that mama had given you. All married couples should love each other the way you both loved each other.
You provided a great example to your children and grandchildren of how to care for one another, how to treat one another, and how to respect one another. You were great teachers.
I want you both to know that you are remembered and loved on this special day when people express their love.