I’m Just Saying

I’m just gonna say it to get it out of the way.

Today is the day my dad died.  Seven years ago.

Do you call it an anniversary?  That seems celebratory and that’s not exactly what this is.

But I didn’t wake up depressed today.  At least, not about this.  Not about my dad.

I know he’s in a good place.  And wherever it is, he can walk and run and ride horses.

I’ve said before that I don’t make appointments with grief.

I don’t believe that I am supposed to be sad just because a given day marks a somber event.

I’ve said that before.  You’ve read that before.

I guess I’m just bringing this up because writing a post about something else today seems disrespectful somehow.

Last year, we were traveling in January, so I spent the 8th posting a recap of events from the road.

I didn’t think much about the significance of the date.

This year, I’ve been sick and I’m just home and not engaged in any hugely distracting activities, so there it is, the anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I think my mom is a little teary today.

She loves her life and everyone in it, but there’s always going to be a space in her heart that is reserved for my dad.

I’m not even sure it’s a voluntary reservation.  It’s just par for the course of love and loss.  I have it too.

Crying about the past doesn’t mean we’re not thrilled about the future.  We are.  We both completely are.

My dad would want that.

On a lighter note, I feel a lot better today.  I sound worse, but I feel better.

The husband boosted my morale with personal sacrifice.

He skipped a movie night with the boys to let me off the parenting hook last night and then he got up with our son this morning so that I could sleep in.

I’ll be gone tomorrow, so today was supposed to be his day to sleep.

I am forever grateful.  I think he let me turn the corner on this cold.

And to sweeten the honey-do credits, he’s now at the store picking up my hair color.

In the morning, I’m driving a couple of hours to meet some friends for shopping and lunch.

I can’t wait.

Thanks to husband, I think I might even have the energy required to really enjoy it now.

Of course, I may feel differently when the alarm rings at 5:30.  😐  We’ll see.

What are you doing this weekend?

Have a Happy Saturday!


Missing Stories

My dad used to go get doughnuts before I woke up on the weekends.  When I walked sleepily into the kitchen and found them there, my eyes would grow wide with wonder.

“Where did they come from?!” I would ask, peering into the big flat box.

“A bear on a motorcycle brought them!” he would tell me, feigning surprise.

“Really?”  I’d ask.

“Really.”  he’d say.  His eyes would sparkle, but I’d believe him.

As I grew older, I began to poke holes in his story.

How could a bear possibly know how much I loved the little round cinnamon crumb cake?  I had never talked to the bear, but that doughnut was always in the box.

How could a bear possibly carry the doughnuts and ride a motorcycle?  Did he have a special rack on the back just for strapping in pastries?  That seemed unlikely.  Bears were surely too cool for a ride with a rack.

Why did I never hear the motorcycle or see it out the window?  My dad assured me “it was magic, of course, and could never be seen by a child.”  Hmmm.

Where did the bear carry his money?  Did he have a special pocket for keeping the change he took into the doughnut shop?  And why did the shopkeeper never shoo him out?  He was, after all, a bear.

When my suspicions were finally confirmed, I had lost some interest in the magic of fairy tales.  I knew Dad was the bear, Santa and the Tooth Fairy all rolled into one.  (Mom is the Easter Bunny, but that’s another post.)

In my teens, I was a far more skeptical audience for my father’s fables, and yet, he never failed to tell them.  He was an educated man who knew a little bit of everything and he could tell you the truth of it all, but he delighted in the designing of elaborate and fanciful stories all his own.

After I moved away from home, my dad would sometimes call me and leave long complicated tales of this or that on my answering machine.  He would disguise his voice and pretend to be some important businessman with a message I just had to hear.  I sometimes laughed and sometimes rolled my eyes and I think he knew that, but he kept on doing it.

Now that my dad is gone, I wish I could listen to my messages and find him there again.  I miss his commitment to whimsy.

My mom used to say she wanted just one more day with dad, just one more chance to talk about things.  I guess I’d like that day too.  If I got it, I don’t think I’d bother with unfinished business.  I wouldn’t ask him what he thought of me or tell him what I thought of him.  I wouldn’t try to right any wrongs or smooth any wrinkles.  No.  None of that.

If I could see my dad again, I think I’d just buy us some doughnuts and ask him for a story.