That’s how long they waited, that’s how long they missed each other, that’s how long until they could no longer be apart. My parents are gone. My parents are together.
It’s selfish, I’m selfish, I want them here, with me, in this realm. I don’t want to miss them. I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to feel so alone. I want to be happy for them, they are together. In spite of their tumultuous relationship and the many times over the 39 years they threw around the word ‘divorce’, they loved each other so much that they just couldn’t walk away. And after mum left, dad became just a shell of who he used to be. I could see he tried to move on, he tried to forge a new life, he tried to live without her. He struggled, he missed her, he was lost without her. When we found out he was seriously ill, the only thing he had maintained was his diabetes and I know this is because mum had checked it with him daily – it was their ‘thing’.
Dad was gone as quickly as mum. Both times it was cancer. Both times it was Stage 4 when it was confirmed. Both times it took them within a few weeks.
And selfish me, I sit here full of regret and guilt. I think of the ‘more’ that I could have done; all of the things I SHOULD have done. I think about how much I let them down. I hold on to the happy memories; those precious moments with just dad or just mum and I smile while my heart cries. I’m not ready to say goodbye.