I am perfectly happy driving through town with my daughter as a passenger. In a matter of seconds, I am no longer a happy-go-lucky mom on the way to run errands.
I am now sitting in the front passengers seat of my uncle’s car. Crying silently as I prepare to go coat shopping without my dad. He has given me strict instructions to purchase something that will last me more than one season.
The tears are for this selfless man, who even on his deathbed, is still thinking about the coat I will be wearing next year and the years to come. Knowing full well that his future does not include this.
I walked around several stores, finally settling on a pea coat from Old Navy. My first pea coat – I felt like a real lady and not some youngster with a puffy jacket. In the darkness that is grief, there was some light. I could see my future and dang, I looked posh.
My uncle, who had never once been entrusted with my care and certainly had never been entrusted to be in care of someone whose dad was dying… was hesitant. He tried to remind me that my dad had specific wishes. But he knew he was telling me something that was hard and he also seemed to know that at the end of the day, I was just a teen girl. And I wanted this dang teen girl thing because CAN’T I HAVE JUST HAVE ONE THING? If it CAN’T be my dad then CAN IT BE THIS PEA COAT?
I remember saying something totally bananas and teenager-y and frankly, honest.
Of course the first thing my dad wanted was to see the coat I chose. I felt remorse for what I had done . This poor dying man, my best friend, only wanted what was best for me. This was the only way he could “take care” of me into the future. And here I am about to show him a complete disregard for his wishes.
To my surprise, he didn’t give me too much trouble. Perhaps that was the exhaustion from terminal cancer. Perhaps it was the understanding that I was a teenager who largely behaved well for.. Oh I don’t know.. my whole darn life?
The only thing he said to me was, that I was gong to outgrow that within a year. I defiantly told him that he was wrong.
Once you’re in it might as well go all the way, right?