Status: 8:41PM; baby in bed for about an hour now. Chicken stock on the stove (just cuz). Pasta makings also on the stove (waiting for the husband to get home to truly fire that up). East India Pale Ale.
So what to talk about? How about Dad. Seven months later. Seven months since he died.
I will admit, I feel weird writing about this because some readers might say "enough already!" Or something like that. But this is my blog and I will write what I want to (just had to say that).
So what is it like, to be 37 and be done with having your dad alive in your life?
First off, people are extraordinarily gracious for the first several weeks. Then, nothing. They are not rude, but nobody really asks "Hey, how are you doing with having lost your dad?" I know that people would listen if I brought it up, but sometimes it's nice to be asked. I am not bitter about this – I am not sure I knew before this that it's nice to have someone ask about it.
You know that flash you get when you remember to call someone? I get that. And in an instant, I say "oh right. can't do that anymore." it does not hurt in a painful way; rather, in a teary way. I just miss him. Plain and simple. The night of the six month anniversary was bad. I relived the evening as the time approached when he had died. I am not excited to get to the one year point, but I am excited to get beyond it.
I have an unusual interest in death and what it's like to die. Don't get all crazy now, I am not interested in it for bad reasons – just really want to know what happens. I think he knew. He said some things that night to my mom and to the nurse that suggest he knew. He did a few things that suggest he knew. We will never know I suppose, until, well, you know.
I found I wanted to know everything about him. I had so many unanswered questions. those questions remain. if your parents are alive, get a book titled Legacy and ask lots of those questions. document your time. you will be happy you have it later. We have a few recordings of his voice. We have 30 years of sermons. I am not ready to let any of those items go. We have tons (I do mean TONS) of his handwritten notes. I treasure those. I carry something with me at all times that he carried with him.
I still cry. It does not last long, so if you are talking to me and I cry don't be alarmed. It's not that dramatic. Just a few tears here and there.
For the most part I am increasingly grateful to have what we have – notes, recordings, memories. It's a duller pain and in some ways, more wonderful than I imagined. It's something I choose to allow – I don't fight it. I like remembering him. I love talking about him. I have lots of laughs about him. I can still hear his voice in my head. I have not had one of those experiences people say they have when they "sense" someone. I have not stepped into a church since he died. Not sure I can go there yet. I remember vividly the hymn that played at his funeral and I hum it to myself often. I was bummed the other day when I heard a wonderful piece of music which I could not identify…it was at a time like that when I would have called him and asked what it was. Like a game…he would have had the composer, the work, the pianist and maybe after a minute or two, the precise recording for me. That was my dad.
I am going to write more about him over time. It helps me remember things that I want to share with my daughter. And, for me, it's simply nice to remember.