We all wish for things in our lives that we will never have. And we all wish for things to be out of our lives that will never be. The list of things we have always talked about having and the list of things that we've always talked about not having.
My father in law passed away without much pain from what we could tell. Thankful! The whole experience lasted a relatively short period of time. Thankful! I'm so grateful that his days of struggling are over. I'm glad that his caregiver, his wife of 59 years, no longer has to struggle emotionally about how to fix him meals that he won't choke on or how to get him in and out of his chair or how to even help him to and from the toilet -- one of life's most basic and bottom-line activities. There is a strange, nearly selfish, sense of relief. For him, of course -- but for her and the rest of us who helped him in his efforts to achieve a good quality of life. I loved to kiss him on his forehead. And I know that when I did, I felt such a sense of zing and connection. Because I felt it back, in return. He was one who really didn't have any close personal friends since we moved them up to Portland six years ago. And I really haven't had any mature, fatherly type men in my life since my own father left this earth 14 years ago. So, there was this connection, this invisible rope hooking two unlikely candidates in harmony. I've said before, he liked me. I liked him. There is always something energizing between you and someone outside of your normal circle of friends and family. The outside connection that adds zip and pizazz to your life, the one who makes you smile, the one who brings something to your life that even one's partner or spouse cannot. The one you like to hang around because they not like the one's you normally hang with. And he did that for me. And I, him. We were on the same wavelength many times. I could walk into the room and feel his frustration from whatever had just been happening before I got there. I could see it and feel it in his eyes. And then he'd spot me and things would change. And then, the kiss on the forehead or the shake of the hand.
I wish him happiness on his journey. In his transition. I hope it wasn't painful or a struggle. I hope he went with joy, knowing that his contribution to our earth was worth it. Without regret or wishing he had or had not. And I hope that he didn't know of my gasp, or my eyes filled with salty tears, while I envisioned my own father in his last remaining minutes on the globe. And I really hope that he knew of my kiss on his clammy, cold, pale forehead just a few hours before he left the confines of his earthly body. The kiss that sent him away and said that it was alright to go. The kiss of life. Between two unlikely candidates. The kiss that I hope sent him into eternity in peace.