We Skipped the Light Fandango

I talk a lot about the relationship that I had with my mom, and the relationships I have with other family members, but I don't often talk about the relationship that my mom and dad had with each other.  Maybe it's not really my story to tell, but I definately have feelings about it.

When my mom had her attack and spent a little over a week on life support, I spent a lot of time with my dad and sister.  One of the things that my dad kept repeating to us was how much he loved her, and he asked us over and over if we knew that. 

"You know I love mommy.  You know that right?"

It was quiet obvious that he was reassuring himself.

I think that when you are faced with the situation that you may never speak with someone again, you start thinking about the last thing you said to that person, and you think about how you treated that person, and you hope that the person knew how much you loved them.  Because, in situations where a person dies suddenly, there's a good chance are you are going to have regrets with regards to how you left things with them. 

No one lives their life treating people as if it's the last time they are going to see them.  Who leaves work, or a party, or the neighborhood get-together telling each other how important they are, and how loved they are, and how much they mean to them?   At 5 p.m. each day I most assuredly do not say to my co-workers what I would say if I knew it was the last time I was going to see them breathing.

So, when someone passes unexpectantly, you only have how you treated them throughout their life to go on.  For me, I was so lucky that I had had some really good conversations and experiences with my mom before she died.  The last time I saw my mom alive, she was recovering from a surgery in a hospital.  I was able to tell her that I loved her and hug her.  But, had I not had those good last times with her, I think I still would have been content with how things were left between us.  We had our trying times, sure, but we also had our good times, and they outnumbered the bad.  We had a close relationship.  We joked with each other; we were honest with each other; we respected each other. 

I often wonder how my dad feels about how he left things with my mom.  From the point of view of their kids, their relationship seemed like a normal one.  There were tough times, and good times, and above all, they loved each other.  They loved to dance and enjoyed taking lessons.  They liked to travel and took vacations together.  They appeared to have the same interests.  But no one knows the inner-workings of their relationship except them.  I hope that my dad's need to reassure himself (and us) right after my mom's attack was just a knee-jerk reaction to the tragic situation we were thrust into at the time.  I hope he doesn't feel that other people thought he didn't love her.  I hope he doesn't still have regrets about how he treated her.  I hope he's content with their life together.



Louis Amendola said...


My father passed away on a Monday night. Before I left for school that morning he called me. We had a few choice words for each other and I said things to him that will tear me up inside for the rest of my life. I figured that a day or two would pass and everything would be just peachy again.

I returned home from school at 3, and at about 6 my Mother called my Grandparents and I to let us know my father was having issues and someone needed to bring him to the hospital. I thought this was no big deal, my Grandfather would bring him and I would see him later. At 11 pm, I got the phone call that he had passed away.

I was incredibly distraught, especially due to our fight that morning. However, two years later I found an old answering machine, and it had a few messages on it. I clicked play and it was my father. The message said "Just calling to see how Louie is. Let him know everything is ok between us." I still cannot believe that message that was on there. It was like he was calling me from the grave.

I still hurt over what was said, but I think that everyone knows that words are words, and actions throughout a lifetime show how people really felt about each other.

Julie said...

Dana .... I am just amazed with reading about your life, Leah and Greg. I don't really ever say this but I am always fearful that this conversation with my mom or dad could be my last. I really try to appreciate each moment, see them as often as I can (I am in NJ and they are in Michigan) and tell them I love them everytime we talk. I think you are brave and courgeous for everything you have shared. I don't think I would make it if I lost one of them. I can't wait to continue reading more of your blog as it makes me feel good and try to see the glass is always half full.