It started with the boots I think. All of Dad's boots are in the laundry room downstairs at Mom and Dad's now. Not in the closets. They're all lined up neatly in the basement. Except for that big pair of black boots with the reflective strip. I think the boys must have got their hands on those, because they aren't neatly side by side like the other ones.

I stood there, a day or two ago, looking at all those pairs of boots, and I could picture Dad wearing each of them. His old scuffed up work boots that he stopped wearing to work years ago, and his hiking boots... And they make me so sad. They break my heart. I picture him lacing them up to go to work, or to go for a walk with the boys, or for a trip into town to do some shopping at Canadian tire, or taking them out to let Ben try them on. I picture his boots driving the car, or climbing to the top of a hill in the gravel pit, and now they're just sitting there empty and still.

And this morning I can't seem to stop crying. Because, I know at some point, Mom will have to get rid of them. And even thinking of it kills me. Even seeing them moved to the basement, instead sitting in the closet, kills me. Because he doesn't need them anymore.

And as illogical as it is, I feel like if all his stuff is there waiting, he could still come back. He could come home, and he'd have clothes to wear, and boots for his feet. And all his tools in the garage would be just where he left them, ready for him to do some project, or pack them in his trunk to come help me do a project at my house.
It would be so easy for him to just step back into his boots, and our lives.

And I know he's not going to. I know. But I want him to. I want him to, more than I've ever wanted anything, but he can't. I can't have him.


  1. Before I say what else I want to say I want to say this because I'm afraid I will forget, but the boots don't have to go, you know. Boots make wonderful planters. My daughter has boots (without meaning) planted with flowers on her deck and they look so cute and then you could have them for a long time and they would have a purpose and eventually, at some point, even make you happy when you see them and remember the good times they represent.
    The other thing I was going to say is that I understand the feeling that he might come back if his stuff is still there. When Brian died I ended up with a lot of his stuff and it was difficult to think of getting rid of any of it. I remember when it came down to his last box of macaroni and cheese and I really didn't want to use it. It was like, if I cooked up that last box, I was using him up and he was gone forever. Of course he was already gone from this life, but the brain is weird that way. I finally did cook it up and now finally find I can get rid of some of the things that really have no use in my life that were part of his life. It took a long time. He died in 1996 and I just last week threw out the "useless to me" files I had of his in my file cabinet. It took a long, long time to get to a place where tossing his stuff did not mean tossing him.
    Think about the planting thing. Everyone that misses your dad could have a boot or two. It's just a thought.
    I love you, Becky.

  2. I have the boots there, thinking that one of the boys can use them. Mike has used the big boots in the picture when he went out to shovel snow, that is why they were sort of out of line. It makes me feel nice to see that the boots get used by the boys. If you want a pair to use you can have them. That is way easier for me than sending them away to strangers, then it does feel like I am just giving him away. I know that is silly but I feel that way so I am in no hurry at all and would rather they find homes with you kids. To a degree, they make me feel better, all lined up that way. I know that some day I will have to deal with things but there is no hurry. If they are there years from not that is alright too. I love that picture of Ben and grandpa and the boots. Maybe I should save them for Ben.

  3. I think every boy needs a good pair of hiking boots when he's bigger too.
    I wish I could log on to his blog and see a new post. Sometimes it's so close you can nearly imagine it happening, and you click on the link with some sort of weird expectancy. I did that the other day.
    I love you. Wish I could give you a hug.

  4. Love you Becky. Wish I could bring him back for you. Wish I could move you out here so that I could hug you as often as I feel like it.

  5. Oh, and LOOK AT BEN!!!! I think he and my Sam could pass for brothers!! SO CUTE!!

  6. I know how hard it is to wrap your head around the fact that even though his stuff is there, he isn't.It still feels like he'll show up or is just in the next room.
    I saved one of my dad's bunnyhugs and wear it around the house. Especially on my sad, can't stop crying days.
    Let yourself cry today. And know that I'm praying for you today.

    PS-I like the planter idea - it would give good opportunities to talk about Grandpa with your kids. I might just do that too :)


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