My daddy turns 58 years old today. In his mind, he rounds it up and decides he's basically 60. 60 is old...in his mind. Well, it freaks me out as my parents get older. Older means closer to death - and losing a parent is just wrong.
I did the math this morning and my dad was 45 when his dad passed away. 45. I am 36. I cannot even imagine to lose a parent in nine years. I don't want to lose a parent at all.
Granted, my grandfather had a ton of health problems, mostly heart related, and was also an alcoholic. And I'm not talking recovering...I'm talking Canadian Whiskey first thing in the morning and all day long. After his heart attack in the early eighties, he was told to stop drinking. Well, he kept his booze in the pump house out back and walked out there hourly to get a snort. I remember when he died, I leaned over to kiss him as he lay embalmed and dressed in a suit in the casket, and his lips were not moist with whiskey. It was odd.
GRANDPA JEFFERSON LAVERNE BROCKWAY 1975
So, back to losing a parent. My cousin Amber...(history: Amber is the daughter of Ken Shanafelt, who married my cousin Robin. Ken was killed from a stray bullet in 1997 while walking downtown with Robin. On the 12th of this month, Amber's mom, Lillian, died of cancer.)...she feels like an orphan. No parents living. She has Robin still, which I think is lovely, but nothing compares to having those people who bore you, cared for you and whom you called "mommy" and "daddy." I ache for her.
My childhood friend, Jennifer Butler Brown, lost her dad about 5 years ago to cancer. My close friend, Geoff Neill, just lost his dad to brain cancer. My cousins, Nick and Ryan lost their dad, my favorite uncle, Rorey, to Lymphoma. Kids shouldn't lose their parents. I don't care if I'm an adult. I'll never be ready.
ME, MOM, DAD & KELLY 1983