The rain isn’t helping. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m struggling to be festive. Growing up in Savannah inevitably made St. Pat’s an extra special time of year, and I have so many wonderful memories of family visiting, parades, Tara Feis, My sister’s Irish dancing performances, and more. Yet now, the day just feels like some strange kind of vigil, a time of remembrance and preparation for my heart.
You know there are moments, certain images, that get burned into your psyche. They become symbolic, like a stained glass window in your mind, forever capturing the exact emotion and gravity of that moment.
As long as I live, I will never forget this photo, the image of this embrace that said so much about my parents’ loving relationship and the weariness of that battle for my Dad’s life and the unshakable dedication and care my Mom showed at every turn down that road. It was the moment of accepting the unacceptable, when we could no longer deny that goodbye had finally come.
Three years tomorrow … grief is strange and long-winded and powerful. My dad really loved St. Patrick’s Day. I really don’t know when I’ll be able to throw on green beads again or visit Savannah on March 17 without remembering how the azaleas at our house waited to bloom until the next day when he died.
Wherever I am on this date, I suppose I just have to accept this new “holiday” as part of my calendar. My heart will always be waiting outside the tomb but without the hope of finding it empty.
I probably won’t be on social media tomorrow but please take a moment to think of us, and more importantly to remember him.