I wrote this post on Saturday as the rain poured and my run was interrupted.
This morning, with rain flooding our street, I’m not able to go out for a run. My Saturday usually starts with a run. It is by far my favorite day of the week. During my runs, blood pumps and energy flows. Depression lifts and ideas generate. Running gives me the muscle, strength, and endorphins I need to push past negativity and depression that I easily succumb to. But alas, today has started differently.
In my time this morning I have fed my two animals, had two cups of coffee, watched the Beto O’Rourke/Ted Cruz debate and perused Facebook. On FB, I saw postings of my older brother Ron. Ron is nine years older than I am. I’m not really close with him as we haven’t really shared our adult life together. I was a pesky, bratty, younger sister who I’m sure annoyed him like nothing else. My limited time spent with him as an adult happened when my father was dying of lung cancer in 2011.
During this time, I watched as my brother dutifully cared for my father in a deep and respectful manner. He pushed him in his wheelchair, spent long hours talking, reading, and caring for his personal needs. He showed genuine love and respect for our dad.
Ron and my dad had differences while he was growing up. I’m not privy to all the subtleties of their relationship, but I know they had their fair share of battles. Yet, they respected each other as men. That respect and love was evident as I watched them during my dad’s final days.
My dad called Ron, Ponce. I have no idea why. I asked him once, but I can’t remember the answer. I think it came from the word punk but can’t be sure. My dad had nicknames for several of us. My mom was referred to as punch. I always thought it was because she was his ‘honey-bunch.’ I came to find out he called her punch because when they dated, my mom jokingly punched him in the arm and broke her hand. He referred to her as ‘punch’ from then on. That was a weird quirk about my dad. Ponce has a similar story to it, but I can’t recall it entirely.
On this rainy morning, I miss my dad. He had his problems, but he was a wonderful human being. He was a fierce Democrat and as I watch the debate between O’Rourke and Cruz, I can hear my dad cheer and applaud during different rally’s. There are some days I miss him more than others. Today is one.
He had a great sense of humor. Dry, but intelligent. He was a fierce American. He valued freedom and hard work. He didn’t suffer fools gently. He had no time for fools. He was a family man thru and thru. He fought for his family and would do anything for us.
Soon, I will do a podcast about taking care of a parent who is ill. It is remarkably hard but also beautiful. You see your parent as a person; a fragile human being who isn’t that different from you. You understand them in a deeper more profound way. It is difficult to watch suffering. But it is lovely to see your parent in a new way. Or at least it was for me.
My dad died seven years ago. I still see him and feel him. He hasn’t left. I was close and not close to my dad. We had an odd relationship, mainly because I was afraid of his anger. I was afraid to disappoint him. Therefore, my true self was hidden. But he knew me more than I realized. He honored me and loved me despite my different opinions and beliefs. I didn’t realize this until he was dying. That is the saddest part to the story. I didn’t realize how much he loved me until he was departing this world. I wish I relished in his love while he was here. I simply didn’t believe he loved me like that. I was wrong.
On this rainy day, thoughts stir, and feelings rise. I wish I could run to release the mounting feelings that bubble. But maybe I’m to sit and ponder and feel the feelings. I know that feeling them will hurt, but it will also heal. I believe we are constantly healing from our own distorted version of events. Thank God, one day we will be released from the tyranny of this negativity.
Until then, I will text my brother Ron again and let him know I’m thinking of him and I love him. He hasn’t responded, and I haven’t talked to him in several years. But I’m so glad I see him on FB – posts from a friend/girlfriend. It looks like he has made a trip to England. Perhaps he will see the roots to our Thompson name sake. I wonder if he is thinking of our dad as he walks the streets of England. I miss him, and I love him. I hope he knows it.