This I Believe

Grace - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 16, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: afterlife

I Believe In New BeginningsAt age 18 on a Friday afternoon while waiting for my father to pick me up to go spend the weekend at his house, I fell asleep. I woke up to the ring of the phone; my father’s neighbor telling me that I needed to come by the house, she didn’t want to understand that I was waiting for him to pick me up, as she kept insisting that I needed to come over.  So I grabbed the keys and headed that way.  I spent that weekend at my father’s funeral, not being able to cry, to think straight nor knowing how to react. Everything happened so fast, so unexpectedly, it seemed to me like everybody knew what to do, while my mind stayed focused on how did this happen. At certain moments I felt as if I was still napping that Friday afternoon waiting for my father to pick me up, and I was about to wake up from a bad dream.But while I felt I was still in that deep sleep, I spent most of my free time thinking about what could have happened.  How? Why? I drove by the empty, dark house various times a week, I drove around the neighborhood, talked to the neighbors, his co-workers, his friends, trying to find answers.  But the more information I gathered, the more confused I was. The more I tried to solve the puzzle of events from that Friday afternoon, the deeper I fell into that ever-lasting nightmare.   Fifteen months went by before an unimaginable event brought me to realize that I needed to let go, to wake-up. It was on beautiful summer day, while watching television in my two bedroom apartment in Central Florida, when I heard someone knock at my door.  It took me a few minutes to be able to get my 8-month pregnant body to walk to the door, but when I did I had the most wonderful, beautiful visitor standing at my porch: My father.  “I am here, I came to be with you for the birth of my first grandchild” He said. I smiled and hugged him, I was so happy, so incredibly amazed.  But I knew it was not normal so I asked him: “How am I going to explain to everybody that you are here? That you are visiting before you must depart again?”  He only said: “They will understand.  Do you understand?” When I opened my eyes I was at ease, I was calm, and my mind was clear.  “I understand” I said quietly while I sat in bed.  I was looking forward to tomorrow, finally leaving the past behind me, while not forgetting it.  I understood that he had never left me, that he had not come to visit me either, as he had always been with me.My name is Grace Cruz, and This I Believe.