Thursday, May 14, 2009

30 Second Post

I am at home. On the couch, snuggled under a blanket.


Thanks for being good today.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sweet Music. Good Life. Bye, Dad.

It is almost midnight. I am sitting on the toilet lid in my underwear, my hair covered with farewell-grays-goop, piled on top of my head. Metaphorically, I am wearing a head full of existential protest, with the dial turned to AGING. My head is covered in Already-Turning-Brassy-NO-NO-NOT-YET-NOT-ME. I am thinking of you.

Hi Dad. Welcome to my bathroom. I am always your daughter.

You died on Wednesday. I have been sad, and more than a little lonely thinking of you these past couple of days. I read your obituary tonight, after talking to Leigh, and I want to add some things, because right now I have some time to kill (25 minutes actually) so I thought that would work for us, because you and I were always Nice N’ Easy like that, no?

First of all, I was glad that your obituary mentioned that you were a master craftsman, but I wish people could have known about your beautiful hands. I always thought your hands were your strongest feature. I liked that they had a kind of square shape to them; I’m not sure why but something about them added to my understanding of who you were. I think it is because that your working with your hands and my writing (even when it includes bad hair-dye puns) have a lot in common – it is how we each make sense of this world.

Your hands were just as good at brushing long, tangly hair for three squirmy girls as they were at building and playing the guitar. I think master craftsman could also be extended to nice, neat braiding, and ponytails that turned out mostly straight. I even suspect that you could build such beautiful guitars because you got lots of fine-motor-skills practice by fastening the small buckles on sandals and delicately placing Hello Kitty band-aids on scraped elbows.

Listen. Its very comforting to remember the You from my childhood. Because the truth is, you, mom, me and Sarah and Leigh, we had a beautiful childhood together. There were birthdays and holidays and family trips to the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. And the inevitable SEARCH FOR LEIGH ANN’S SHOES that precluded each outing. There was watching you fix anything and everything; cars, furniture, cabinets, floors, and countertops all come to mind. There was also just being at home and listening to you play guitar when we were supposed to be in bed sleeping. Or wishing you would not play your guitar while the Muppet Show was on.

Death sucks, Dad. I know you understand what I mean. Nothing is black-and-white. Life. Love. Death. It is all shades of Gray. Gray! Gray! Gray! Everything is gray, except, now, for my hair. For four to six more weeks, I have a reprieve from that, at least. But my scalp is tingling and my time is almost up too.

We forgot, Dad. I think that the five of us forgot what was important somewhere along the line. We were not brave and we each jumped through our own escape hatch. But I did not know it until after you were gone this week.

I am not blaming because there is no one to blame. But the thing is Dad, I can’t move on, we can’t move on, until we all figure out what it is we are moving on from – you know? I am the oldest. Older than Justin, even. By a few months anyway. So I have to figure this out because I am supposed to Take Care of My Sisters. Remember? It is my sacred charge. Girls are strong but not strong when it comes to their Daddy. Leigh’s heart is broken. Sarah feels abandoned. I don’t know how to make it better for them.

Because there was not much opportunity to see you or talk to you for a long time now. I know why. You did not want anyone to see you because you thought you were weak. I did not try very hard to see you because I was weak. I thought it would be an intrusion. But now that I am a mom, I can see the great value in intruding on those that you love. I should have pried-my-tongue-out-of-my-cheek, and intruded on your life at every opportunity. I am sorry. If I had been as intrusive I should have been, your obituary also would have mentioned that you had a laugh that reminded me of Garden Gnomes, and it complimented your crinkly eyes.

That said, I wanted to clear things from my end. You once sat me down and we had the first of many a great talk. You explained to me that you and Mom were going to get married, and that you were going to be my Dad. You told me that You and Sarah and I were extra special because we chose each other. I am grateful that you chose me Dad. I want you to know that I chose you too. Everyday. Together or not.

I love you.

Your daughter,