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