November 5, 2009

Papa Rarick

It was my dad's 62nd birthday yesterday. I still can't believe it. For some reason my parents in my mind have been stuck at 45 years old for the past 10 years. So whenever they have a birthday I'm like, "Pshh. You're not that old!"

But my dad's birthday this year was a little more emotional for me. Something inside of me said: "Who knows how many more birthdays he's going to be around for." You see, he is diabetic and has always battled his health. The past 8 months or so have probably been the most emotionally and physically draining for him. He has almost lost his foot numerous times, has undergone several surgeries, and has been admitted to the ER more times that I would like to remember. It's been so hard to see my usual witty and energetic dad slowly fade into a more tired, put-on-a-good-face dad. Whenever I reach to give him a hug before our weekly Sunday dinner, he greets me with his usual smile but I can see the strain and sadness in eyes from having a body that isn't completely whole.

I hate seeing him that way. I hate thinking about him someday not being around. Because in my mind, its not suppose to be that way. He's suppose to be here to to see all the new additions in our home. He's suppose to be here to see them grow up and get baptized and go on missions and get married. He's suppose to to be around to tell him the same jokes he's been cracking us up with since we were little. But most of all, he's suppose to be here so that they will know and love their Grandpa Rarick, not just the stories about him. They need to know the great man that I know. But as with most things in life, I know its out of my control and I'm trying to find a good way to deal with that reality. The best way to come to grips with it all and help comfort me is, of course, those Sunday School answers. But part of me is in denial, and wants to just carry on as if my dad is still 45 and in great health and spirits.

There's a John Mayer song that describes my feelings perfectly (I know, I'm obsessed with John Mayer. I'm not in denial about that). It goes like this:

Don't know how else to say it
Don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said "help me understand"
He said "turn sixty-eight
You renegotiate"

"Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train"


Jessie said...

I love your dad too, and have been sad to hear that he's not doing as well.
He cracks me up, seriously. He's one of the funniest people I know, and I've missed not seeing him as often since I've been all grown up.

Angie said...

OK...Your post seriously made me cry...I feel the same way about my dad. He is VERY overweight and unhealthy...and stressed all the time. I always ask that much longer?
And I'm so grateful for the gospel, but it's still hard to think about. Your mom and dad have such positive energy, that I'm sure it will add years onto both of their lives. Your dad cracks me up! I loved having him in our ward council mtgs. Miss them!