My father died three weeks ago.
It was expected and I was blessed to have had the privilege of making my peace with any unresolved issues we had before he left. I was there in his final days, caring and nursing for him, assuring him that it was okay to move on to the next part of his life, to sail to a better and easier place.
He did not have a good life. It was one of limitations, abuse, toil, disillusionment, and bitterness. But the little joys he did have, he savoured. His accomplishment was His Girls, who learned from his lessons and built a richer, happier existence for themselves. When he knew that he would be sailing in short order, he was able to accept this because he would be leaving His Girls enough to build a solid foundation for their lives. He wanted us to truly live, to see and do things, to have a lot of stories to tell him when we met up with him again on our own journey to the next realm.
My father worried about me a lot, living as I did in the middle of nowhere with a long commute to work. He was pleased to learn in his final weeks that I'd finally made the decision to return to The City. During his final lucid hours, three days before he sailed, we spoke giddily about the new urban life I would be starting, the pretty house that would be a far cry from the mousehole I was currently miserable in, the extra time I would have now that I would not have a commute. He made me promise that I would make good use of what he was leaving me, buy a house, travel, have something to show for his life as reflected through my own values and dreams. We made plans for the future even when we knew that we would soon be separated, not knowing when our souls would be reunited.
The last five years have been very difficult for me, the last two easier, since I've embraced my faith. I'm currently in the process of making up for years of money mismanaging and have a plan for getting myself out of debt by 2012 (not including a mortgage) and a looser plan to retire by the time I'm 45. My father's death has brought forth options in 2007 that I thought would not be available until 2010 at the earliest. I plan to make full use of them.
My new life begins April 1st and I am giddily planning for it. Now that I will not be wasting so much time commuting and repairing plumbing (especially since I lost my 24 hour plumbing helpline), I want to go back to the urban lifestyle I had late last century, when I had time for homemaking endeavours and the world still seemed filled with possibilities instead of limitations.
My goals for the next year are simple: to start and keep a housecleaning routine, to cook more, to be more proactive in my faith, to continue paying off debt and build up my savings, to be more frugal, and to travel.
I've always journalled and I'm hoping this blog will serve as a chronicle of my journey.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."