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Friday, April 29, 2011

I Remember

The royal wedding was today. I remember watching Diana and Charles tying the knot, when I was young. I remember where I was when I heard princess Diana had died (a hotel in Baltimore). There are those momentous events that just stick in your brain like glue. 

The ones you will always remember like the Kennedy assassination, the World Trade Center disaster and for me the day my dad died. 

That would be a year ago today. 

I can't believe it's been a year. 

Every detail is so vividly burned in my brain that it feels like just yesterday.

I remember getting the phone call at work. I was in the middle of a tour and had to excuse myself.  

I remember driving myself to the hospital, because I just didn't want to inconvenience any of my co-workers. 

I remember getting to the stupid parking ramp and having it say FULL while I was trapped behind a line of cars. Waiting to find a parking place felt like it took years. 

I remember waddling, eight months pregnant, through the hospital trying to get to the ICU in time. 

I wish I could forget the scene that awaited me, because it wasn't my dad. He never wanted to be hooked up to all those machines. I want to forget how the doctors talked to me. I could see the pity in their eyes, and their overly sympathetic words as they told me what would happen when we disconnected the machines. 

I would never wish this on anyone. No one should have to make that decision. 

I remember thinking "I hope he knows I was here. I hope he knows he's not alone."

I remember coming home from the hospital, and feeling like I was in a dream and that I would wake up and he would still be there. 

I remember writing his obituary and spending three hours on the phone talking to the pastor about my dad, so he would have stories to share at the funeral.

I remember going to the mall trying to find a maternity dress and an outfit for E to wear to the funeral, while B2 and E painted the nursery.

I remember driving the three hours in 40 mph wind to north central Iowa for the visitation and the funeral, and seeing friends and family that I hadn't seen in years. Weddings and funerals, the two occasions when everyone makes the effort to see each other. 

I remember thinking "this is how you know who your true friends are." The ones that sent cards and kind words, the ones who drove six hours round trip just be there or the ones who came to make dinner for us. 

I remember the music at the funeral. "Butterfly Kisses" and "Father's Eyes" and the reading from my dad's favorite book "The Velveteen Rabbit." 

I remember the food after the funeral and the big piece of chocolate cake E ate. My dad would have loved that. 

I remember the looks on people's faces when I showed up at work a couple of days later. I was being induced that week and needed tie up loose ends before going on maternity leave. Life keeps on going. 

I remember when G was born and deciding that his middle name would be my dad's. 

Now it's a year later and I wish there was some closure, but unfortunately things take time. 

The boat is being sold this month, which is one thing off the list. 

But the house is still there. Empty. 

And so are dad's ashes.

We were going to take G.R.A.C.E. out one more time to scatter dad's ashes, but the buyer wants the boat sooner rather than later, and timing just didn't work. 

So we will wait. 

Wait till all the loose ends are tied up in a nice perfect bow, and then finally let dad sail on like he always dreamed.


At May 03, 2011 , Blogger Hyacynth said...

Oh, my friend. Oh. I do. I feel this. I feel this in ways I cannot even put into words. It doesn't get easier. It just gets more real. All of it.

It's interesting and complex and brilliant and tragic all of the memories and how they come up against each other and clash, emotions butting up and blending and mixing and merging. The juxtaposition of an impending birth set to a death. Or a young life eating chocolate cake.

Wish I could just wrap you up in a huge hug and tell you I don't know exactly what you're thinking or feeling, but you're not alone. Prayers for comfort.


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