The Farleys Did D.C.

Turns out my kids are amazing travelers and seem to have a thing for cities just like their mom. We drove up to D.C. on Tuesday for a twenty-six-hour trip and did as much as their tiny legs(and the parking meters) would let us. We started our trip with a visit to my dad’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and then we went to some of his favorite haunts which felt really strange…really strange. But isn’t that what you need to do with your memories? Visit them and tease forgotten ones out of the deep folds of your brain? Because … Read more…

Do you Nano?

November is an amazing and heartbreaking month for me for so many reasons. It’s a month filled with food, family and love. November looks yellow and sounds crispy. November is a month where my dreams are born and the month that I lost my dad. It’s a story I’ve told before and you can find it well documented on my blog. Three years ago on November 29th, my dad died. I can recall everything I did during November 2010. I remember the painful decision to call in hospice. I remember driving up to D.C. with my brother to make sure … Read more…

I opened the box

Today, June 2nd, is my Dad’s birthday. I contemplated saying was instead of is but it is the day of his birth even if he is no longer here. I decided last night that today I would spend some time with his journals. I wanted something spectacular and revealing to fall into my hands. I picked through the box, one yellow piece of legal paper looking just like the next. I pulled a few things out and didn’t like what I read…for one reason or another. Maybe someday I’ll share those. But I found something from August of 1990 that … Read more…

I don’t know much

I was watching the news this evening and there was quite a bit of coverage about Memorial Day. I think the President was at Arlington National Cemetery today. It made me start thinking about my dad and his military service and I realized I don’t know much. We had my dad interred at Arlington. The thought never crossed my mind until we were sitting with the funeral director while his body was downstairs waiting to be cremated. The funeral director asked us a lot of questions and our answers led him to suggest Arlington. We immediately knew it was the … Read more…

I see…

Driving down the road anxious to return to my perch and nurse my sinus headache with my chai, I saw the trees.  The trees with their leaves that match the soil of the soon to be road.  The trees that are shouting their beauty to the world before they lose it and we realize we have taken them for granted all of these months. The trees remind me it is fall again.  And I remember that two years ago this week my dad went into the hospital for the last time.  I knew as soon as I got the call … Read more…

Too soon

He left too soon.  He wasn’t finished.  He didn’t get to finish whatever it was he wanted to do. He did finish Don Quixote and Ulysses.  He did not finish Proust. He only wrote a half dozen sentences in a document titled “Autobiography.”   The purpose of the document was to explain himself.  He never did. He would be 70 on June 2nd.  A milestone birthday that would not have been lost on him. It would have been a time for personal examination. A time to assess and review.  A day filled with grandchildren, tulips and sunflowers, cheese and fine … Read more…

Made for t.v.?

I don’t want to see the made for t.v. version of your life.  I want to see into your heart. I don’t want to see the scrapbook of your day fixed with all the pretty accoutrements.  I want to see the flaws that made it real.  I want to see the eyeliner from your tears on your shirt sleeve.  I don’t want the sugarcoated version of your truth. I want the gut wrenching anguish and the exhilarating highs.  I want to feel your happiness and bear your smiles… Which is all good.  Because that’s just what my dad left me. … Read more…

I want

I want to write about magicians and mapmakers.  Magicians that aren’t really magic and mapmakers that deal with what you can’t see.  I want to write and use my writing to discover the mystery that was my dad.  I want to write so one day Alex, Eva, Ethan and Gigs will not have to sit next to a box filled with yellowing papers to discover the mysteries that created their lives.

Sometimes the truth is hard

After reading my blogging partner in crime’s beautiful and moving post, I knew I had to share some of my story too. I’ve been writing about it a lot just not for the blog. But now I think my story might help someone else have a different ending. I’ve told you before that my dad cheated death on multiple occasions that I know about. He fell in a pool and a manhole in a third world country. He crashed cars – multiple cars. During his last year the doctors called multiple times to tell me this was it and I … Read more…