Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Check Gauge

I never fill up my gas tank because my car is on its last legs. I would hate to invest 60 bucks into a full tank, just to have the car go to the junkyard. That is wasting 60 bucks and as my brother John says, I’m cheap.

I was at work, the morning that I got the call to get to the hospital right away. As I pulled out of the lot, the fuel light lit up in my Ford Explorer, indicating that the tank was close to being empty. I knew the hospital was about 10 miles away and I did not know what type of traffic I would hit. I needed to stop and get gas, because it would suck if I got stuck on the side of the road and not get a chance to see my dad before he passed away.

I stopped at a gas station, slid my credit card through the machine and pumped the fuel for about three minutes. Just enough gas to get me the rest of the way and to make sure that the fuel light was off. I found out through a phone call that my Dad had already passed away when I got the original call at work. I continued to pump more gas, because, now I felt empty.

That was six weeks ago. The fuel light has gone on 4 times since then. Every time it lights up, a wave of emotion hits me and reminds me that I am feeling empty.

When my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, my mom and her sisters started to notice Butterflies in unusual places. There is a story behind the butterflies, which is too long to write here, but they all look at butterflies as a sign of their mother’s presence. It brings them peace.

My brother Jim’s very close friend, Toz, died in Iraq in 2005. I have been told the story (but I do not remember it exactly) that a Buck, a wild deer, came out of nowhere and watched the funeral procession. I am not sure of the significance, but there was one, and many people who attended looked at the Buck as a sign that Toz was okay.

I have read and heard other people’s stories of signs, dreams and other weird stuff that has happened after someone has died. I find them all fascinating and most of the stories all end with the fact that the living are now at peace with passing of their loved ones.

I still have not seen or found that sign that has brought me peace, or closure, or whatever I feel that I need, with my father’s death. I know I have plenty of great memories and I am blessed with the fact that I could consider my dad my friend but I keep looking for something else.

I know. I know. It will happen when I am not looking for it. But, right now, all I got is a fuel light blinking.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I am sorry you are feeling empty and pray you find your "sign" soon.

Teri said...

maybe the sign IS the blinking light. you never know.

sorry for your loss, bill. i can't imagine what it will be like to lose a parent.

Meegs said...

I'm sorry for the empty... its a horrible feeling. But I'm sending you healing thoughts and prayers, and hoping that you'll get your sign soon.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry. I never had any kind of sign or anything with my dad. But I didn't need one, I was sad, he was my best friend, but I was not empty. God fills me, and did then.

Undercover Mutha said...

I don't know how you can make me cry buckets and laugh in the same post. I still remember the cloudy gray sky and the muted sun rays peeking through on the day my grandmother was buried. When my grandfather was buried 7 years later, I saw the same sky even though it was the dead of winter instead of summer time. Peace be with you.

Lowa said...

Yes, maybe you have the fuel light.

When my brother died, I had a lot of...not really signs, but scencing his presence. My mum was so jealous and I felt bad. She wanted the same thing to happen for her!

I had dreams of him all the time and "saw" him when I was awake. Just a few times and both of them the very night he died. One was inside and one was when I went outside to get fresh air after crying so hard I thought my head would explode. I also had a premonition (kind of. Actually I think it was God trying to tell me something would happen and there was nothing anyone could do about it) a little less than a week before he died suddenly and none of us realised what it meant at the time.

All this to say that yes, when it is time, you will get your comforting sign. It took almost a year before my Mum got her's. My Dad and I felt bad, because from the time my brother died, we DID have the sense of peace and the "signs" if you will. I am so glad that now she had her's. And I know you will have your's.

I continue to keep you all in my prayers:)

The Boisverts said...

Some say that there is a "God-shaped hole" in our hearts that only He can fill; that we try to fill that empty place with other stuff... people, fun, money, partying, sex, you name it... and the empty feeling still stays. Until you cry out to Him to fill that void Himself. What do you say you give that a shot? Can't hurt, right? I'm willing to bet that until you fill that hole with Him that your gauge light keeps coming on for the rest of your life.
I know when my God shaped empty spot was filled with Him, my "check gauge" light stopped coming on. Just thought I'd offer that.

Unknown said...

Hey, I have never posted a comment before but alas, I feel compelled to. In college, my best friend's dad died from an abrupt heart attack. On her first night she came back from all of the family stuff and the funeral she fell asleep exhausted. In the morning, a cicada had left its shell right next to her on her pillow. While not the most beautiful of creatures... you can't get anymore symbolic of that! She was sure it was her dad. Peace.

Janice {Run Far} said...

That was so sweet..... I think that the fuel light blinking is your dads way of telling you to not let YOURSELF get empty.

I know a family that the day their mom died there was a huge double rainbow out. Rainbows are now their sign from there mom that she is ok and doing well.

Bogart said...

Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately, there is no set time or way for grieving of this type. My mother and I were just sharing tears last week over the passing of my grandfather back in September. That void will always be there for us, but we take comfort in knowing his pain is gone.

I hope that the fuel light begins to be a reminder of his life rather than his death.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll get your sign. But in the meantime, I say claim poop and boogies as your signs from your Dad that he's OK and that he's proud of you. That way, you're sure to hear from him pretty much every day. Maybe that is your sign -- your kids' poop and boogies.

Love you.

Maddy said...

I agree with Teri, I'm sure the blink is the sign, coz your Dad [still] knows that your habit of not filling up the tank is likely to stay for a long while. In fact I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if your 'junker' car stays for a very long time.
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Aaaaww, William.


I'm sorry you are feeling empty. But I have to say, what a beautifully bittersweet expression of your feelings of loss. And of your tightwaddiness. I hope the act of writing about it lessened the emptiness, even if only just a teensy bit.

(((more hugs)))

Dave Cole said...

It's right and cool that you should miss your dad and feel the loss so strongly. It hasn't been that long for you to take it all in. Your dad was an amazing guy and as trite as it sounds, he passed on values and attitudes that you'll pass on to your kids . . . so he's really not gone.

Amber said...

I wish I had words of wisdom or even witty words of wisdom so that maybe you could laugh and feel better. Unfortunately, I don't have either. Mourning just takes time, you'll get there. It may suck until then, you might have days that are busy and great, and then you will have days where you have to crawl through second by second until you can go to sleep and hope to not have dreams that remind you of your loss. It's no fun, but it does pass.

I don't know how big you are on bible verses, you know I am a fan, if it helps here is one for you:
2 Timothy 4:7-8a
I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me...

Death is only painful for the living. Your still in my prayers.

OhTheJoys said...

Oh, friend. This post makes a very real, very persistent, very familiar ache rise in my chest. I understand. It's just so ***ing hard.

Thinking of you,

Ern said...

I think it's ok to feel somewhat empty for awhile. And gradually, I agree with bogart, maybe the fuel light will begin to remind you of his life instead.

Unknown said...

At least you have that. :)

Two or three years after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, I had a chance to talk to him in a dream, and finally say "goodbye". It helped A LOT.

He's there with you still.

Charity Donovan said...

So sorry about your dad. The loss of a parent is honestly one of the most surreal things that I think a person goes thru in life. People like to tell you that it gets easier & i think that is total bullshit...i think it just gets easier to hide how you really feel when those "empty" moments come along. We all come to a "peace" with their loss in our own way though. Thanks for HONESTLY sharing your experience...I truly believe that is the first step.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you did or did not know, FOR the past 5 years on Valentine's Day your Dad would take my car to the station and give me a full tank of gas, as my Valentines present. It's him William! Believe it! My tank was empty this V-Day! Had to fill it myself. We are all empty in some way. It hurts big time. I love you and your writings and so did Dad. I'm sure he still does. It's him! I love you. Mom