Over the past two years, I have come to fully appreciate why people call it “the grieving process.” After the initial shock and adjustment, a long and winding road unfurled into the future. I have started to adapt to my new fatherless state.
I remember that I can’t call him- before I reach for my phone to try.
I can speak about him fluently in the past tense- without tripping over turning ‘is’ to ‘was.’
Year’s of Holidays pass just as they do every year- completely unaffected by his absence.
Memories become fables.
Kind gestures of remembrance inspire a heartfelt smile before the tears come.
The tears still come, often, and that’s ok.
I wish I had one last chance to ask him questions. There are many of his motives I would love to get a clear understanding of, but all I will ever have is supposition and assumption.
They are not all big weighty questions.
In fact, most come from things I find in the completely unexpected places. For example last week (while I was making memorial pillows,) I found to my confusion that my dad had written his name next to the extra buttons in almost all his shirts.
At first, I caressed the familiar letters written in his unmistakable hand. Dumbstruck at the unexpected artifact. A few tears escaped my eyes and dampened the project.
Then, It hit me.
“Why the F#ck was he writing his name in his own shirts?!”
These were not expensive work shirts. They are just cotton button ups, no dry cleaning necessary.
For those of you who knew my dad; I don’t have to explain that he could be eccentric. (If you never had the pleasure of making his acquaintance this might give you some idea what I am talking about.)
It’s not like I, my mom or sister were going to take these articles of clothing. Though, at least that would explain his first initial.
Was this some habit left over from childhood, I never knew about?
Seriously, WTF Dad?!
Just another quandary to add to the stack. Maybe he did it on purpose; knowing I would find them someday and it would totally screw with me. Probably not, but even if that wasn’t his intention- I know he would approve of the sentiment.
I guess if I did have one last chance to ask him something; the answer might go a little something like this: “Why? I don’t really know why I did it. I was just trying to screw with you. Did it work?”
It did. Well played dad.
This journey down the road of loss has lead me to a place where I am beginning to think that maybe life is more about the questions than the answers.
And I’m ok with that too.