I am a lazy control freak. There are certain aspects of my life where I feel the need to make sure things get done properly. My radio show is one of them. I am more than happy to delegate responsibility to others but if it is not completed to my satisfaction ultimately I will just do it myself. It gets to the point of telling somebody how to do something is more time consuming than doing it myself. Around the house I can be somewhat lazy. If I misplace something I will give a cursory look but after a few minutes I will call my wife because she knows where everything is so why drive myself mad. I prefer driving over flying because even though it takes longer and is statistically more dangerous at least I have some control of the trip. I like being able to mold the outcome of results in my life.
Therefore it is very hard when there is somebody that I love and I can’t do anything to make their situation better. I can’t mend a broken heart. My wife’s father, Lee, passed away last week. He lived a wonderful life full of love given and received by his family and friends. Eighty-six is a good amount of time on our planet though it seems way too short when it is a loved one’s time to leave us. My wife and her father were extremely close. Lee, was an exceptional man and he set a fine example of what being a great human being could be without believing in a higher power. I don’t know if he ruled out a god but I do know he was not into religion. I can relate. He was extremely patient, always wanting to fix things, musically talented, very sweet, and set a fine example for his four girls. My wife exhibits a lot of his qualities. I see it in the way that she raises our daughter. He was the head of their family and his passing left a big hole in their family. We all knew he was sick. They recently moved away from all of us and then it seemed like his health deteriorated even quicker than expected. All the girls rearranged their schedules to spend some time with Lee. My wife’s sister left today (now just to see his wife). We are leaving Sunday. Lee left us before we got to visit him in their new home.
My wife wanted just one more squeeze. One more I love you. One more of her father’s corny jokes. All his girls wanted that. None of them get that. So they grieve. There is nothing I can do to fix this. I can’t bring him back. I can’t give her goodbye. I am in the position I hate most. Powerless.
The girls sat shiva last week. If you don’t know what this is listen to our show on October 13, 2015. They all sat in NJ. I went down for a couple of hours but could not spend any more than that a day because we have a daughter and she is too young to be home alone and she has after school activities. I was tasked with putting on the appearance of normalcy. It is hard to pretend everything is ok when your wife is grieving an hour away. When you can’t give her a hug. A squeeze. An I love you. A corny joke of your own. You just kind of make sure your daughter is taken care of and think. You should be there but you can’t be there. When she comes home late at night you darn well make sure you are still awake. To check in with her. To pretend there is normalcy in your life. You give her a hug. An I love you. You listen. You listen a lot. You tell them this hurt will never heal but it will subside. You tell them how much their father loved them. How proud he was of them. How much he knew he was loved. You focus on them and their needs.
I can’t bring him back. I can’t heal her pain. I do have control. I can control how I handle myself. How I appear to her. How I handle our daughter’s life. If I can control all of that then this will allow my wife to regain control of her new reality in her own time. Sometimes you can’t be the captain of the ship. Sometimes you can just be a life raft who goes with the tides of life while ensuring your precious cargo reaches land safely.