Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Know that He Loved Me.

This is bad. I have no digital pictures of my father. I even tried googling him. Nothing.  This is the last picture I have of him. That's his arm.  I am pretty sure this was the last time I saw him alive and well. It was when my beloved grandmother, Nana, had decided to quit her dialysis and invite her own passage through the end of her lifetime.  We took Nana on tour, we being my Uncle Larry, Dad's younger brother, my sister Stacy and I. We dropped in on Dad and my step mom, Linda. I think Dad was expecting Nana and Larry but Stacy and I were a surprise. It wasn't very nice of us to just drop in like that, but we did it so he would have a tiny taste of what it felt like. My father's MO was to drop by without warning. It's a two hour drive from his house to mine and nearly four hours to my sisters' houses and yet he NEVER told us he'd be coming. He would always just drop by. We hated it. We felt unprepared and like second thoughts. Frequently he missed us or we missed him. It was so sad. My dad met my son one time. Aidan was about a month old. My son. My only boy, who is now nine.

That adorable little boy in the picture above is my nephew, Ethan. He is the son of my half brother Christopher. This was my first time meeting him. I was in love.

How did this happen???? My father, healthy as a horse save for a spazmatic back, was supposed to live to be at least 85. He was active and took care of himself. He loved to create beautiful things out of old, ugly, forgotten stuff. He restored houses, many houses. I was just talking to him about this two weeks ago. I said, "Dad, you are leaving a legacy of beautiful craftsmanship behind you. You are an artist and I know that you must create because I am the same way." He said, yes, he loved restoring houses and was working on one now. He knew he had to be careful though, because injuries were such a burdon. Luckily, he had Linda, (his beloved wife of 35 years) to watch over him and keep him safe.  Then he asked if I wanted to hear a story. "Of course!", I said. He told me of Adrian, his youngest grandchild, who at 17 months loved to watch her cousins and brothers and was apparently learning from them. My dad witnessed that brilliant little mind pick up a softball, perch it on a rock, find a plastic bat and swing, handle side first and knock that ball off it's perch like she had seen the big boys do it. She retrieved the ball and did it again and again. He, my dad, was totally enraptured with the miracle of this angel and the joy of knowing that his grandkids would all attend the same elementary school together now that his daughter Tamara and her husband had moved within one block of his son, Chris and his wife Molly.

My dad was happy. It oozed out of him. I was happy for him and when we were finished talking, I told him I loved him and I really meant it. He was in a good place and I was truly happy for him. Life was good.

The next morning, while working on the roof of the house he was restoring, he slipped and fell two stories to the ground and took the fall on his head. My sisters and I were able to see him in the hospital, to hold his hand, do reiki, tell him we were sorry, to say that we forgave him, to tell him we understood that he was torn between two families, to tell him we were so grateful for Rock Creek and Thrifty ice creams and Sears portrait studios, for shiny things in the road, for fixing what is broken, for garages that become studios for craftspeople and for Love. I know he loved all of his children. I know now that my father loved me. When he died last night, after being removed from life support, I know that his life was a good life, lived on his terms and I know that he loved me.

1 comment:

mogull said...

beautiful... real...
love you.