So, my dad died. It feels really weird to type those words. My dad would want me to write those words though because more than anything he wanted me to write. When we were cleaning out his things I found a photocopy of a fairy tale I wrote in ninth grade for Ms. Cuccorillo. Even when he was getting foggier and foggier this year he still asked me how my book with Gill was coming along. My dad was quite a writer himself (and a speaker – any of you remember his toast at my wedding????). Dave and I inherited piles of letters and notes (really they’re journals written on yellow legal pads). It looks like he may have written some of the things twice as he may not have had access to a copier and some of them were done before the computer age. So we get to sit and look at his beautiful scrawl and try to make out the words. Sometimes the words are a little painful because my dad was nothing if not honest. I haven’t read all of the notes and I don’t intend to until I have written down all I have to say about my dad. I don’t want any of it to be tainted and I don’t want to remember some of the things that I may have forgotten.
People keep telling me that it is a really hard time of year to lose your dad. But I have to disagree. If anything the holidays and my four little monkeys have made it easier. Is there ever a good time of year to lose someone you love? Is February better than December? No, there is never a good time and I have memories from random days all during the year that make every day equally hard. It will be difficult when I realize I can’t discuss an upcoming election with him or talk to him about a race I have run. And yes, it was really stinky that I had one less person to buy a gift for this year.
Now it’s a new year. One that finds me without a Dad. All of the sudden I have extra time on my hands too. For the last year and a half I have spent countless hours on the phone and running up to D.C. I’ve been asking myself what I am going to do with all of that time and have been carrying a journal around with me all week. Thinking of and jotting down resolutions and contemplating things I might want to do before I turn forty. I know I want to finish the book. I might want to run a ma….. Ugh! I can’t even say it yet! I want to channel my dad’s compassion, drive and his intellect. I want to live poetically like he tried to do in so many ways. And hopefully, sometime I will feel just like Ethan and will be able to yell on lap 1 “I love Grandpa!!!!” and on lap 2 “But he’s dead!!!!” (This actually happened. Ethan said it all with the biggest smile and never stopped running. It was so matter of fact and straight from his sweet little heart.) Until then, I will gaze out my window and look at my “Dad tree” and remember him and think about what a lucky girl I am in so many ways.