Today marks the sixth anniversary since my father passed away from kidney cancer. I was twenty-two years old, just seven months away from my wedding day.
A week before he died, I had no idea his cancer was terminal. To this day, I’m not sure if my father had known and didn’t want to burden us with the news or if he truly thought he was going to beat it.
My father worked up until a week before he died. He did everything he could to shelter me – and himself – from the truth of what he was going through. It took me a very long time to come to peace with that. In fact, I didn’t really get over it until recently, when I sat down and allowed myself to write “Seasons of Change,” a very short piece of flash fiction I mentioned a few weeks back.
It was a soul-cleansing, heart lifting experience. Somehow, it both reaffirmed my memories of him as well as allowed me to detach from the pain of the experience of seeing him so weak, as I placed another character into my role. I freed myself from the bonds of the protagonist and allowed myself to cry as a reader, and not as the tested veteran of loss and grief.
You can read that piece of flash fiction, which was published today [my 7th publication since turning 28, exceeding my personal goal], by visiting here:
I miss my father every day and I’m grateful for the gift of writing to be able to bring him back, if just in small pieces and chunks, through imbibing my characters with snippets of his personality. Through the fragments, I find the whole.
Optimistic for good memories today,
~ Victoria Elizabeth Ann