My daughter asked me last weekend how I could just talk about my step-dad in fairly casual conversation. We were at a lunch with extended family and I was sharing with my step-mother-in-law because she had lost her husband (my hubs’s father) to cancer a few years ago. So we understood each other.
The only thing I could tell her was that Grandpa is always with me. And I don’t hide from my grief. I tend to dive right in and swim around in it. I learned that when I faced my first *real* loss, my baby girl Angelina. A lot of people hide from grief, avoid it, ignore it because it hurts and that’s unpleasant. I am such an emotional person that I just can’t do that. Whether it feels really bad or really good, I feel it. Completely.
That being said, last night I went to our annual Khaki Ball, celebrating the new generation of Navy Chiefs. Hubs and I danced and talked and did all the normal once-a-year socializing with all the chiefs things. Then the band decided to play a couple of slow songs. The first one was your typical big gathering selection for slow music. The band leader asked if the crowd wanted one more slow song and everybody hollered yes.
The first few notes started and I looked over at my husband. The singer got out the first line of the song and my eyes filled up with tears and my breath caught in my throat before I knew it. They were playing “What A Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong and I all but fell apart before I realized what was happening. That was the Father-Daughter dance at my wedding. I danced with my Dad to that song the day I got married and it was always one of our things.
I thought I had healed a little from his loss but hearing that song last night evoked a reaction I hadn’t seen in myself since July. I miss him so much. I remember sitting there last night in the midst of trying to collect myself and not make a scene and thinking “He’s gone. He’ll never be at a formal event again. He’ll never see any of this again”.
So I guess it just goes to show that just when you think you’re moving on, someone that really meant a lot to you is never really gone. Ron will always be with me. And maybe someday I will be able to hear that song without tearing up.