Sunday, June 20, 2010

If...

Looking through the Canadian Tire flier is a thing I used to do with Dad, especially if he was helping me buy a tool long distance. We'd be on the phone, flipping through, him telling me if something was a piece of garbage or a really good deal. Plus, neither of us would want to miss out on any really good door crasher deals. I still carefully look through it every time it comes.

If Dad was here I would have got him this motorized inflatable chair from the Canadian Tire flier for Father's Day:

I would have. He had a floating chair very much like this one, except not motorized, that we found in a garbage can at a campsite in Melville a few summers ago. (I got some hangers.) It was EXACTLY the same chair that Ang had bought for herself and it worked awesome. He was pretty pleased with himself that he found one just like hers for free. I wouldn't have been able to resist this one, even though it isn't free from a garbage can. The picture of him driving that thing around the beach would have made it completely irresistible. Can't you see him? And us on shore laughing our heads off?

If it worked awesome it would have been funny. Him zooming around. Probably giving rides to all his grandkids. Likely with a Pepsi and a bag of Doritos.

If it turned out to be a piece of garbage it would have been almost as funny. Him trying to get the thing to go while the wind blows him off course. Possibly muttering some choice words under his breath. His can of Pepsi knocked into the water, good thing he didn't open it yet. Us all on shore, laughing our heads off. Then we would have returned it to the store when we got back in town, and he would have bought some tool instead, to put into his garage never to be seen again by the rest of us. But he'd know exactly where he put it.

If he was here... Lots of things, really.

But he's not. So I will imagine that there's a Canadian Tire in Heaven, and he's got his motorized inflatable chair that works awesome. Only this one would have cup holders too. And he's buzzing around some beautiful lake with a Pepsi right now.

I love you Dad. Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Raw

This was a rough week. This IS a rough week.

We went to a family wedding on the weekend, which was lovely, and which left me feeling about as raw as if someone had taken a cheese grater to me. Dad's brothers look a lot like him. And being around his family, as much as I love them, is very painful. (To say the least.)

And of course, we all know what's coming this Sunday. I keep seeing things I want to buy Dad for father's day. Things he would like. Or things that would be funny.

Yesterday we went to go pick a stone for Dad's grave. It bothers Mom that there isn't one yet. She says she can't go out there till it's taken care of. I understand why. She's still taking care of him. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't bother me. Maybe because I'm his daughter, not his wife. He took care of me, not the other way around. Or maybe it's because I really feel no pull to go to his grave at all. I don't feel closer to him there. And it bothers me that his body is down there and we have to pick a headstone to somehow try to say, "He was here. He mattered." He matters.

And summer is looming in front of me. I've never felt this way about a summer before. But this summer was supposed to be the summer when we could start to put some of the pain and the worry behind us. Instead I find myself running out of things to remember about his last year with us. This past weekend marked his last big fishing trip. Soon it will be October and he'll have been gone a whole year and I will be all out of "a year agoes". Which sucks, in a way I'm not sure how to explain, other than to say what I've said before. I feel like I'm moving away from him, from that part of my life when he was here with us and the world was a place I liked a lot better.

Now the world is a place with no Dad for my boys to sit with at family gatherings, and no not-so-subtle hints about what he wants for Father's Day, and no looking forward to spending summer vacation all together, and soon a headstone in a graveyard with his name on it.

Of course, it's a place with lots of things I love in it still. Obviously, I shouldn't define the world by the things that aren't in it anymore. That doesn't make sense. But some weeks, like this one, I have a hard time seeing past all the empty spaces. (That doesn't make sense either. Empty spaces shouldn't be so hard to see through.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Year Ago

This Morning

I wake up early this morning, as I have on countless mornings, to the sound of my dad upstairs getting ready to go somewhere. This weekend he's going fishing, and on Monday he's going to the hospital for another stem cell transplant.

I look at the clock. It's almost five, time for him to leave. I get out of bed and go upstairs to give him a hug goodbye. I tell him to have a good trip and a good first few weeks in the hospital because I'm not planning on seeing him till the beginning of July. I'm not looking forward to being away from him when he's sick in the hospital, I hate it. Letting go of him is a little hard this morning, but I don't make a fuss and I go back to bed.

As I lie there I realize I forgot to say "I love you". He already knows though. That's what I say to myself. He knows. My actions show it. I've said it before. There's no point in getting out of bed and going all the way back upstairs to say it. Plus, he'll think I'm being weird. And he's going to be fine in the hospital. This isn't my last chance to say it to him in person. And besides, he already knows. But I can't stop thinking about it.

I hear my door squeak open.

"Becky?" Dad says.

"What?"

"I forgot to say I love you."

I love you too Dad.