Thursday, July 24, 2008

One Year

And, suddenly, here it is.

One year.

My father died one year ago today, in a haze of morphine and Frank Sinatra music.

Does this passage of time, then, put the acceptance stamp on it? Does it make it more real, that my father is, truly, gone?

No. Because grief is not measured in an orderly number of days. There are times when it seems he's been away for a long, long time. Then there are those moments when the thought of not seeing him again is astonishingly shocking.

The sadness I feel is not just for me. It is for my mom, who will not grow older with the man she spent over 49 years. It is for my children, too. What joy he would've taken in watching a parents' sweetest revenge: my having to raise a child who is, in essence, a stubborn, opinionated mini-me.

And the anger. Yes, I am angry with him, for not taking care of himself so he could be around for my mother, for my brother, sister and me, and for his four grandchildren.

That has not dissipated. Don't know if it ever will.

But today, I just want to remember the larger-than-life red-head with the raucous laugh. The guy who would come home from work and throw sky-high pop-ups with a tennis ball for me to catch.

The one who smelled of Kent cigarettes and Old Spice.

That is our perogative, the ones left behind. We choose what we want to remember, how we want to remember.

Today, I just think of this tremendous loss.

Miss you, Dad.

14 comments:

Dawn said...

So sorry, Cheryl, I know that has got to be hard. Anniversaries always bring all the emotions to the surface. Only think about the good times today.

Jen said...

Cheryl, what a nice tribute to your dad. I'm sure he is looking down on your today! Big hugs. Jen (516)

Suz Broughton said...

Cheryl, sorry you had to lose your father so young. I'm sorry for your kids too. Kent cigs and Old Spice--it's funny what memories stay with us.
If I knew you (personally) and were anywhere in the vicinity of you I would hug you.

Melissa said...

I'm thinking of you today. I know it's a tough one. At least you have a boatload of wonderful memories to fill the day with.

Julie said...

Thinking of you today.

I appreciate how eloquently you wrote of many of the emotions that I too have and often struggle with.

*HUGS*

-Julie

Secret Alpha Mom said...

Big Hug Cheryl. I did not know your dad but feel almost like I did from this beautiful verbal snapshop you have created. I hope you go pop fly some tennis balls for your kids to catch. Think of your dad catching them at the peak and then tossing them back down.

Mely said...

Thinking of you and sending you hugs...Memories even when they are hurtful or sad are the only thing that no one can take from you.

Remembering his smell and laugh is a good way to honor him!

Kelli (plangirl) said...

Big hug to you today, Cheryl.

OCHalf07 said...

Big hug to you, girlfriend. I can't believe it has been a year.

Swirvin said...

I admire how well you are able to put such emotion into words. I found it very intersting how the things we seem to remember most about loved ones we have lost are the little things - a particular smell, laugh, etc. and not what expensive toy they did/didn't buy for us. I think we sometimes lose that focus ourselves as parents.

Your tribute to your dad is a great reminder to take the time and enjoy the simple things in life with our own children for these are most likely the things by which they will remember us.

Jen C said...

Cheryl, I'm giving you a big ol hug from all the way over here.

Holly said...

I'm so sorry, Cheryl. I couldn't get the link to this blog to work from your tweet so wasn't able to read about this sad anniversary until tonight. My hubby also lost his dad at a young age, so I have a tiny sense of your loss. Hugs to you!

Janine said...

Sorry I am late. Big hugs to you. I am so sorry you and your family had to experience such a tragic loss. It is good to cherish all the special memories your dad had with you, your kids and your husband. My thoughts are with you.

lisa l. said...

Hey, Cheryl,

I had no idea your dad died a year ago. I'm so sorry for your loss.

He would have been delighted to see how tall and cute Special and Sauceman have grown!

Glad your blog is in the Register's website...sooo much better than you know who's writing ;). It's about time.

We gotta do lunch one of these days.

Lisa L.

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