Mar. 3rd, 2017

impy: tori from jackie's strength video (Default)
If I know myself at all, I know that given enough time to procrastinate or nap or whatever, I won't get around to saying anything about today and then I will feel awful. Of course, by taking the time to try and put feelings into words, I will also likely feel kind of awful. However, in this case it's definitely a case of better to do the thing than not do the thing.

Today is the day my dad died six (!) years ago. It's funny, but most of the year I can talk about him and not choke up much at all, but around his birthday and definitely today I lose the ability to function normally. It's not like it doesn't make sense but it doesn't make it any easier either. The early warning function of this doesn't do much other than warn anyone who remembers that maybe this is not the week to to try my patience. But no one remembers who isn't family, which makes things worse. It's not like that doesn't make sense either, but it's definitely one of those reminders that the worst day of your life can just be nothing to someone else.
I don't know (and I'm not looking back at the moment to find out) if I said much about the night my father died, but I know for a fact I haven't actually said the words aloud because I can't. Every year since he died, I find myself flashing back to the same very small window in time when things just went completely to hell. The phone call at dinner, the driving to the hospital while a song I've since forgotten played, and then getting to the hospital and going up to his room. He was still alive though you'd never know it beyond the fact that he was breathing and the machines were making noise. And Mom and my brother both said goodbye and I stood there, completely unable to say a word because the thing they don't warn you is that when your heart breaks so completely and all at once? Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you are robbed completely of the ability to speak. And it's not like I didn't want to say goodbye or have a moment or whatever, I literally could not speak. I tried and no words would come out. Not a sound until after he was gone and by then it was too late so what was the point?
And it's not that I worried on any level that Mom or the boy thought less of me for saying nothing (not then, anyway. Sometimes that worms its way into my rotation of worries, but not often) but rather the fear that at the end, my dad might not have thought I was either there or that I didn't care enough to speak. Then again, rational me knows that the man knew me well enough to know that I would be there and that hey, maybe he knew all the things I wanted to say but could not. Of course, maybe not. Who knows. I'd like to say that if given a do-over, I'd be able to summon my voice and be able to say goodbye but I'm pretty sure that even if I lived that moment again a hundred times over (please no), I would never once be able to get past the sheer pain and panic at the loss of my father in that moment. Mostly because I can't actually say anything about that little moment in time because my throat closes up again and nothing comes out now either, even though it's just me and the dog.
Somewhere on the drive home, while the boy slowly turns up the volume on The Piano Man, I find my voice long enough to call out of work in the worst-best way ever and then suddenly it's like I can talk and talk and talk and yet there's nothing anyone else can say because what do you say to your friend who calls to say that their father has died? Exactly. Words at all the wrong times, really. It's kind of the theme of my life, if you want to know the truth.

I try not to focus too much on the end of his life because it makes me sad for obvious reasons and infuriates me because the hospital staff was just... nope, not going there... so instead, I figure I'll continue my tradition of remembering random things about Dad so it's not the same three stories over and over. Because he deserves more than that and so do I.

When I was younger, my parents would take us to the beach a fair amount in the summer. The catch was that we couldn't go too late or stay too long because Mom and sunshine did not (and do not) mix all that well. This probably worked out even better since Dad's idea of sunscreen was SPF4. :p Anyway, we'd head to the beach with our cooler and we'd always end up at the park side of Folly and sometimes this meant a whole lot of walking. We'd get situated and eventually the heat would get to be too much and the boy and I would beg to go into the water. Mom was in charge of the wading, but after maybe half an hour or so, Dad would step in and past the breakers we'd go. We never stayed long but it was always the best part of the beach trip for me. We didn't tend to get a lot of Dad time alone that didn't involve chores or something else going on, but in the ocean we kind of had to be the center of his attention and so the boy and I did not fight then, even if we'd been ready to murder one another earlier. Eventually, well before the boy and I were ready, Dad would bring us back to shore and that pretty much signaled the end of the trip. We'd be there long enough for his trunks to dry out and then away we'd go with the rest of the day ahead of us.

And randomly: I miss him when the dishes have piled up and I don't want to do them but it's become obvious that someone has to or they'll never get done because he used to pitch in every so often, and only when things were truly dire, and he'd do them all, even the ones no one else could manage to get clean. And then, when he was done, he'd make himself a sandwich, no plate, wash the knife, and head off to watch TV like it was no big deal... usually with a stern look at whoever had been roped into drying off all the dishes, as if to say "don't let it get this way again." That of course ignores his hand in it getting bad to begin with, however it's pretty much my way of approaching dishes, too. Do them all, guilt anyone who uses any afterwards for like a week, and then bide your time until the Bat signal goes off and you are once more roped into duty.

On that note, I'm off to do some dishes.

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impy: tori from jackie's strength video (Default)
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