My father died three years ago today.

Oddly enough, Elli is the one who reminded me of the date’s significance earlier this week, with a loving email from the other side of the world. But, of course, it was creeping in around the corners of my consciousness even before I read her email.

While the sunny-side of my brain was busy writing about John Donne and researching colonial foodways, renewing library books and organizing bills, thinking up dinners and planning Christmas lists, it was also fielding quiet messages from my mind’s shadowy side… messages that seemed to be obscure and insignificant memories… but when I look closer, I see that they all point to one day.

I miss you, Dad. I always will. I’m still finding jokes I want to tell you, goofy Christmas presents to make you laugh, people I want you to meet, stories I hope would make you proud.

I wish you’d met The Fella. He and I had planned to visit on that day, this day three years ago, bringing a Christmas tree for Mom… because he’d asked if he could do something, anything, to help her, to help you. I wish you could have known him, his fierce quiet intelligence, his wit, his impossibly good heart. I wish you could have seen how happy he makes me.

I wish… I wish a lot of things. But really, there’s not so much to wish for as there might be. You had a good life, even at the end of it. And you’re remembered with love and (never underestimate this) with laughter. I haven’t had a BLT since this one, but I think it’s time.

Fill our hearts with thankfulness;
Fill our hearts with grace,
Smile on our celebrations
And then bless us on our way.
HDS, November 24th, 2005

6 thoughts on “memorial

  1. I had made it all day without crying til I saw this. And it’s ok, really it is. But yes, there are still cartoons I wish I could share with him, puns, stories I save up for…oh yeah. He’s gone from us. But I do think, somehow, not with logic, if it’s important for you to have him know about something, like the Fella, then he knows it.

  2. Really, no crying all day? That means you didn’t cry even when you got my weirdly hesitant little voicemail saying something like “Hi… it’s me, and I’m just checking in… and saying I love you… ’cause I do love you.”
    I thoughtfully left that message because I didn’t want you to get a voicemail that was all, “Hey, Dad’s still dead, huh? Talk to ya later.”

  3. Thanks for posting this. This was my first time Christmas shopping for everyone BUT my Mom. Somehow it’s better to know that I’m supposed to be crying 3 years later.

  4. TheQueen, I actually thought of you right after I posted this. Yesterday, I started to comment on this post of yours, but it got pretty muddled pretty fast, and I never clicked “submit.” (Of course, now that I’ve been crying on and off for 20 hours, I just went over to your post and wised off like a jackass. Hi!)
    Gaoo, I say you and I go out for great BLTs sometime soon, between finals and Christmas.

  5. Perhaps by great you mean the BEST BLT IN THE WORLD from The Front Room which I have gone on about at length in the past: homemade crunchy toasted focaccia slathered with garlic aioli, local roasted tomatoes, local spicy microgreens, thick slabs of applwood-smoked bacon?!?! Are they open RIGHT NOW? Our dad sure liked BLTs. I guess it runs in the family.

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