I bet you thought I had abandoned this. I don’t blame you! I’ve been at a dead end with my thoughts and I’ve felt like nothing I’ve done the last two weeks has really warranted a spotlight. I haven’t made any fun foods worth capturing, I haven’t had any amazing PRs, it’s just been life. I’m in the middle of the Crossfit Open, but so is everyone else. And I don’t feel like blogging about that. At least not yet, that may change as the weeks tick on.
Today, eight years ago, my Dad died. Everything about that day and the few days that followed are foggy and distant. I wish I could recall them. Not often do I let my mind go back there, but when it does, I wish for the chance to re-live it. The chance to store all of it better in my mind. I was 20 but I felt younger. In fact, when I think about how old I was, I remember it as though I was 17. I guess because 17 seems like a child and 20 seems like an adult. And when I think about that day, I feel like a child.
When someone dies that you love, that pain never goes away. I wouldn’t even say it gets easier over time. You just learn to push it to the far away parts of your mind so that you can continue living and maintain happiness and focus on all of the other things that make life so worth living. But, when you strip away those guards and allow yourself to reflect, remember, feel that reality again, the pain is just as acute as it has always been. The loss is tangible. Generally, because you have have things you can pull out and cling to. Like his watch, his wallet, letters he wrote to me. I rarely go to those things, because settling there is far too overwhelming and hollow and it takes hours to climb out. I try to smell the watch, try to find even the faintest shred of the person that wore it, but there is nothing there. I can’t read the letters; I touch them, but I don’t read them. I wonder if I will ever read them again. In 8 years, it has never gotten easier to open and try.
I don’t know the right words to say to honor my Dad. In ways, he was never really a father. In ways, I never really knew him, and I guess you could say, most of that is his fault. But you know what? Death erases blame. At least it has for me. When the transgressor dies, so does the transgression(s). And it becomes insignificant in so many ways. And you mourn the loss without anger. Regret, yes. But not anger. And all you really do, when it boils down to it, when you’re at the bottom of that hollow hole missing that person, you’re really just wishing for the chance to go back and fix it all and make it right. Make it whole.
I think I was probably around 10 or 11 the last time a picture was taken of me with my Dad in it. This is that picture.
I have no adult memorabilia of him, other than what I keep in the small bag that the VA hospital gave me after his death, and his obituary and death certificate. He had no possessions other than what he carried on him. He had no money. I wish I could go back and make my selfish 18, 19, 20 year old self see the bigger picture. Instead, I can look at what I do have now, and remember him in that way. So here is Larry in the way that I knew him.
The last known picture of him
Dad, Happy Death Day. In 5 days, Happy Birthday. I think of you and wish for Heaven so that everything can be as it never was, but should have been. I love you.