Your back is sore. Every morning it’s sore. I think it’s because you sleep in the same position all night. I give you a back rub. As I rub your back, I quiz you on your body parts. Especially the left side. You get a sensation when I massage the areas but it does not equal the sensation on the right side. You can identify the areas with some accuracy.
Tara wakes up in a bad mood. She is grumpy and uncooperative. You assert your Father status and tell her that she needs to have a time out. This makes her blow up. She stomps to her room and slams the door. I think there is more going on then just a power struggle. She has been having nightmares again and I don’t know why. She won’t talk to me about it. I don’t think she has anger in her heart, I think she is hurting.
She misses her Daddy. Her Hero. The fall from the wheel chair yesterday was traumatic for her too. Just before we loaded into the car to go to the hospital, she writes on the fridge calendar “Daddy leaves”. This calendar has been documenting your comings and goings over the Christmas season. At the time, she felt that you would go to the hospital and not come back. She was scared.
After a cooling off period, I talk with her. Actually I talk to her – I think she listens to me. Finally she blurts out the fear that is behind her feelings. “I know he talks like Daddy but he is not Daddy. He is different and I think Daddy is really dead and that man just looks like Daddy.” She felt that you were switched with someone else at the hospital.” My mind grinds to a halt. What do I say to this fear? She has noticed the change in you too and this is how she explains it to herself.
I told her of our conversation yesterday where you said that you noticed that you have changed, changed for the better. She doesn’t believe me. I convince her to talk to you and I leave the two of you alone for a while. You said that you told her you love her and that you are always going to be there for her. When I got back, you were hugging and holding each other. You said “I love you” and Tara said “I love you more”. She felt much better.
I feel a strong sense of relief about Dad’s death. I share this with my siblings and they feel the same way. Dad’s funeral is Wednesday. You will be in the hospital at that time and unable to go. I wonder if the children should go, maybe it would be better for them to do something else during the funeral. You think it should be their decision, of course you are right. I will talk about it with them tomorrow.
Just before bed, I happened to look at the calendar on the fridge. In the December 28th box, Tara wrote: “Me and Dad Love”.