It Was A Sunday…

It was a Sunday ten years ago.

I’ve told the story over and over. Sometimes with lots of details. Sometimes with almost none.

But I still remember every single detail.

It’s almost all I have.

Cortney had abdominal pain. I went to do his Fantasy Football Draft. Lots of phone calls about coming to his dads. Finally we went.

Just in time to say good-bye.

Just in time to release him from his pain.

Just in time.

Then there was the appendix surgery.

We were still newlyweds. I didn’t even stand when the doctor came out to get the next of kin to come in the recovery room.

I forgot that it was me, not his mother, who should go in.

Temporary bliss of forgetting.

His dad was gone.

“My dad died today,” he told the nurses.

The looks of disbelief that I had to confirm.

Everyone agreed he won “shittiest day ever.”

I had to make phone calls.

“Cortney’s dad died. Cortney had his appendix out.”

That night we slept in a tiny hospital room together.

I couldn’t leave him alone. His dad had just died.

I couldn’t go home alone either. My father-in-law had just died.

It was a Sunday ten years ago.

Today is Friday.

The sad truth is that I really didn’t know him.

The more time that passes, the more I realize, I didn’t know him.

I know he loved me.

I know he was happy I married his son.

But I didn’t get any time. None.

Not once did I sit down and chat with him by myself.

Never were we randomly alone in a room together.

I think of all the family gatherings we have had in the past ten years, and wonder what it would be like to have his jokes and observations and laughter injected into it all.

How significantly would our lives be different?

It’s impossible to imagine.

That impossibility is what hurts the most–the things I will never know.

He was my father-in-law, and I didn’t know him at all.

And yet, every day I think of him.

Every day I miss him.

It was a Sunday ten years ago that my father-in-law died of lung cancer.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Sending you love. This was beautiful, a lovely and achingly truthful tribute to your FIL.

    Reading this brought up so many emotions…not the least of which is that I feel like you do a lot of the time. I didn’t get to know my FIL before pancreatic cancer took him three months after we married. I look at his grandsons (the boys I asked him for before he died ) and I feel so cheated and know that John was too.

    Didn’t mean to make this about my loss but I wanted you to know that I understand and I’m so sorry for your loss, even today, all these years later.
    xo
    Kir recently posted…Pour Your Heart Out: 10My Profile

  2. All that pain at once. 🙁
    Lady Jennie recently posted…How to Sort LegosMy Profile

  3. I’m so sorry. Definitely shittiest day ever.

    XOXO
    Elaine A. recently posted…Writers Gonna WriteMy Profile

  4. What a heartbreaking, but beautifully written post. That is so much pain. I’m sorry.
    Angela Youngblood recently posted…Summer is Ending, But We’ll Never Forget It (WeMontage)My Profile

  5. So much love to you. Definitely the shittiest day ever 🙁
    Angela recently posted…Five things to readMy Profile

  6. Hugs. I think of you and yours, this time every year.
    Alison recently posted…11 Ways to Let the Light Back InMy Profile