Well, it’s been two years today since you left us for greener pastures. Or maybe they’re whiter, up there floating on clouds or whatever it is yall do all day. Here it’s dirt and work, toil and pain, just the usual.
Thought I’d take a few minutes to fill you in on what’s been going on down here below since I reckon God don’t get no cable. For starters there’s this election thingie. That’s a big one in the old US of A. Figure the Big Man’s been fielding a lot more requests than usual about that, but I don’t guess folks like you are bothered too much about that. There was this Arab Spring thing, and something about a shortage of honeybees. An ambassador got shot, maybe you talked to him? There’s a bunch of confusion in Asia about which country stops and starts where, but you probably don’t care too much about that, neither. I read something in the news today about a little girl who’d been missing was found dead. Don’t know if she’s got anyone up there yet, but if not, could you show her around? Be nice, now.
I think about how the kids were the last time you saw them, and I realize they’ve grown a lot. The oldest is learning to read and write in both languages. He did a puzzle in Ranger Rick all by himself. The youngest has started going to preschool every day. She’s still kind of quiet and shy, unless it’s with me of course and then she’s all instant gratification and condemnation. Me First reminds me a lot of you. He’s a handful. But once you get past that rough exterior, he’s a sweetie inside. If you can get past it.
Things with Mom are kind of weird. She’s seeing someone, who is just about as opposite of you as can be. Sister’s good. Brother’s getting married next year, provided the girl doesn’t come to her senses, of course.
Me? I’m hanging in there, I guess. Some days are better than others. I feel kind of lost a lot of the time.
I miss you a lot. It took a long time to get used to the idea that you weren’t just a phone call away. You’re always popping up on Facebook, Dad, you gotta stop doing that or find a way to friend me. I don’t know why we never got around to doing that.
Sometimes I feel like you’re so close, like you’re breathing down my neck. I can still hear you coming, the balance of your walk, the way you used to jingle your keys in your pocket, the sounds that said “Daddy’s here!” before you even came into view.
Other times you just seem so damn far away.
The kids like it when I talk about you. Me First likes to take out that old green box and stare at all your treasures. The funniest thing happened, Dad, we found your dad’s Seabee pin in amongst your boy scout badges and arrowheads. It was neat, and it was weird because I’d just been thinking about him the day before. How is Fred, anyway? Sometimes I think I feel him, too. It’s a different sort of energy from you. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want you to think I was nuts, but I felt that a lot in that room where you lay dying. It must have been hard for him to leave y’all, your sister still just a kid, you barely more then a kid and where you were and at that time. He must have known they’d let you come home. That must have given him some comfort. Cold comfort, to say the least. You never complained about it, but I’ve always hated it for you. The Rich Man’s kids never had to worry about their number or none of that, did they.
Remember how you and I used to sit and watch the Christmas tree together, in the dark? Me First likes to do that with me. Some of the little things like that, the little moments you took aside for me, they meant a lot. I try to do that, too.
The public side of you I haven’t thought about too much. I’ve never seen another preacher storm out of the pulpit and spank his naughty kids in the foyer, but then again I haven’t been going to church so much. You were the only preacher I ever knew, and I’m sure you’d agree that everybody else seems pretty boring in comparison.
Halloween is coming up, Dad, then your birthday. Don’t worry about me much, though, I’ll muddle through it. I hope I make you proud, Dad, but I know right now I’m a miserable disappointment. I’ll work on that, okay? I think a lot about the things you said, about not embracing unhappiness, how you don’t have to lie down in it. I’m not sure what to do with that, but I wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten it.
I’ve been writing this blog a lot. Feel free to read. It’s mostly a bunch of crap, but hey, maybe it’ll make you smile occasionally.
We spread your ashes, Dad. Well, B and J did. Your instructions to put them in the salt and pepper shakers at XX church weren’t exactly helpful. We weren’t sure what to do with them, but we did the best we could.
Mostly I want you to know that I love you, and that I hold you real close in my heart. But I’m not lost in a river of grief of anymore. Sometimes it overwhelms me, sure. But most days it’s just kind of a sad undercurrent, a tinge of what was adding flavor to today.
I’ll write again soon, Dad. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you, and I’m missing you, and I’m still loving you every. single. day.