I’m too young for this is a series of posts that I wrote shortly after the death of my dad. I wrote them so that I would remember. It’s been 2 1/2 years since that day and I’m just now ready to share them. If you have missed the first parts you can find them here. part one. part two. part three.
I’m a writer. I know that seems obvious by the fact that you are reading this but that’s not what I mean. I write notes to people, I journal to noone at all, I love letters and if I really need to get things clear in my head I get it onto paper, even if it’s just in point form. Writing would be my chosen form for all communication if it weren’t for the fact that it would slow everything down and I would get impatient with people.
It was a monday morning and I scribbled down a note as the kids got their backpacks on and headed out the door for school. I’ll be at the hospital. That’s all it said. It was left for my husband who worked from home and was still sleeping after working late into the night the evening before. I didn’t want to tell him to his face that I was going to the hospital because then he’d ask why and then I’d have to tell him that it was because I was afraid that the nurses were going to wheel dad off for another round of chemo when we didn’t want him to have it. Then I would have had to tell him that I just needed some time absolutely alone with my dad. Then I would have had to admit that I was scared. Please don’t make me admit that I’m scared.
I knew that my mom didn’t usually arrive at the hosptial until about 10. She was there for long hours every day and we always encouraged her to have a bit of a morning at home before planting herself in his room for the day. I knew no one else would be there.
I didn’t know what I was going to say if a doctor should come to take him away but I knew that I would protest. My soul didn’t want to fight on this particular morning though and God gave me exactly what I needed.
I walked quietly into my dad’s room and pulled a chair as snug as possible up beside his bed. He looked peaceful and like he was sleeping but he always looked like that right now. Not always peaceful, I guess, but sleep like. This morning his face looked calm. This eased my heart. Hi Dad, it’s Rhonda. He didn’t move. How was your sleep? Do you need something to drink? Nothing.
I reached over and took my dad’s hand. His great big monstrosity of a hand. I always joked that his wedding band could be a bracelet for me. I cupped my tiny fingers over his thick ones, opened my bible and began to read. Psalm 1. Psalm 2. Psalm 3. My whispery voice read monotonously. The way one would read to a child that they wished to lull to sleep. But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Psalm 4. Psalm 5.
A nurse came in and my heart quickened. What was she here for? I hadn’t seen this nurse before. She was young. Younger than me. Was she here to take him to chemo? Would I have to fight? She stooped down near the end of his bed so as not to disturb him. “Hi,” she said. Her face was so compassionate. Tears began to well up in my eyes. I could feel my face getting hot and my throat choke. Hi. She asked who I was. He’s my dad. Gushing tears. Tears that wouldn’t stop. Poor nurse. I’m sure she hadn’t meant to walk in to this and she was likely wondering how on earth to get out of it. I’m okay. “okay,” she nodded and smiled in a pitying way and left the room. I want to scream out. I’m sorry for crying in front of you. I’m sorry that I can’t hold myself together. I’m sorry that the word hi makes me break. Do not look at me with compassion. My heart can’t handle compassion. Do not sympathize. That makes me feel like someone who needs sympathy and then I’d have to admit that I don’t like this at all and that God is making a mistake and my dad should not be dying.
Psalm 6. Psalm 7. The psalms have some harsh language and are a bit depressing. I wonder if I should stop.
Psalm 8. Psalm 9. Psalm 10. Why, oh LORD, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble. Can he hear me? Should I stop?
Psalm 11. Psalm 12. Psalm 13. Psalm 14. 3 heads peak around the corner. My mom with her starbucks coffee in hand. My uncle and aunt. I feel silly suddenly. I don’t like drawing attention to myself and now they’re all looking at me and wondering why I’m here and why I’m reading depressing psalms out loud to my dad who we’re not sure hears us. Hi. This time without tears. They’re all dried up for today.