There comes a point after losing a parent that you get past the grief and the pain and just start living again. I think I have hit that point. However, I keep on running into interesting things that make me pause. For example, I found a note my dad sent to my boys a year ago. It fell out of my filing box and onto the floor. I picked it up and read it and felt... nothing.
I was on Facebook and the stupid social networking site wanted to let me know that my dad had friends. Would I like to be friends too?
Not really, thanks. And again, I felt nothing.
Every day I get on Skype and connect with old friends and with my editor of doom. I'm on there a lot and when I scrolled down I caught a glimpse of my dad, grinning out at me with his bushy white sideburns and Mad Scientist eye brows. Again... NOTHING!
I'm starting to worry that something is wrong with me. Did I not connect with my parent? Dad wasn't exactly a... dad. He was there and subliminally I knew he loved me. He never said so (Well... scratch that, he did say so, but I was like 30 and he was dying). We never actually spent quality time together and if we did, the instances were few and far between. We may have been connected on Skype, but we never video chatted. I had a phone, but he never called. It was an odd working relationship because I don't feel very bitter about it.
He's gone, but when he wasn't there much in the first place, it's hard to miss him.
On a side note, I was out with my dog the other day. It was a glorious day. New snow had fallen and the sun was out. It wasn't a weak winter sun, but a bright, clear sun that warmed me to the bone. It was beautiful and I remembered something...
I was about eight or nine and my dad and I were out in the barn feeding the cows. Cows aren't delicate creatures and they chomped and urped while I sat on a bale of hay freezing my bahookie off. I remember that if I sat in the right spot, the barn would block the icy wind and the sun would do it's work warming me up. It was a beautiful day then too as I watch alfalfa dust makes graceful curls in the sun beams. Dad, for a rare brief moment, sat down beside me ( rare because it never happened unless we were sitting in church... in fact if I remember right, he didn't sit with us at the dinner table or on the couch to watch TV either). He didn't say anything. Another rarity because dad was always talking about something and he never needed a reply. We were just getting warm. Then he turned to me and said, "You know what? It doesn't get much better than this."
It stuck with me. Frankly, it didn't get much better than that. For ten minutes, I saw the real DAD before he disappeared in the house and it was over, but I got the glimpse. Today as I am outside warming myself under the same sun I experienced all those years ago, my heart aches a little.
I finally feel the loss.