Notes On A Scrap Of Paper

I told dad the night before he died it was ok to stop fighting and promised to look after my mother and sisters.

“I have got this dad. I’ll make it work.”

That was around 10:30 PM, but 3:45 AM he was gone.

It wasn’t the first time I had said it to him, probably said it a couple of times not because I wanted to say goodbye but because we had reached a place where nothing short of G-d splitting the Red Sea was going to change things.

Can’t say my words had anything to do with any of it, but I can say the day he slipped his bonds here the AC in my mom’s house stopped working properly as did one of their refrigerators.

We didn’t discover the refrigerator until around 9:45 PM which led to a grand scrambling to save what  we could.

Notes On A Scrap Of Paper

My middle sister and I stayed with our mom to keep her company and help around the house.

“Jen, he is testing me. This would be just like him. He is fucking testing me.”

We laughed, partly in giddy exhaustion and part WTF is this about.

I walked to the garage muttering to myself, “don’t test me old man, I paid attention to what you taught me and picked up a few tricks of my own.”

Grabbed a flat head screw driver and a couple of other items and then returned the kitchen.

Within ten minutes I had pulled the fridge from the wall and had removed half of the lower panel. I cleared out a bunch of the fuzz that had attached to the coils, plugged it back in and hoped that by morning it would work.

When I finished cleaning last night the door thermostat said the freezer was fifty and the fridge was 54.

This morning they were at at 6 and 8 and the ice maker had pumped out more ice again.

I showed it to mom and walked away muttering, “I am not going to believe it is perfect yet old man, but I told you I have this.”

If it breaks down again, it breaks down again. I hope it doesn’t because mom doesn’t need the aggravation and not because my repair didn’t hold.


There is a long list of things to do and we’re trying to prioritize what requires immediate attention and what can wait.

I have received a million comments, calls and texts of condolence and continue to be grateful.

More than a few friends have told me to remember it is ok to ask for help which leads me to believe it is obvious I don’t do a particularly good job of asking for it.

I am trying to rectify it, but it is not easy for me. Pretty damn hard really.

Hell, I don’t talk to many at all about my real thoughts. It is not a personal thing, it is just me. I come from a line that keeps our own counsel with a very small inner circle.


Been listening to music just thinking and working out what needs to happen.

It is far too soon to make big decisions but some have to be made, some small and some large.

There wasn’t time to do a proper job of packing before flying out to LA so I haven’t any dress clothes. I have spent a little time going through my dad’s clothes and have found a couple of shirts and a pair of dress shoes that I’ll wear to his funeral and Shiva.

He hasn’t been taller or broader than me for at least 25 years so some things fit about as well as my own stuff.

I haven’t figured out if I need to go buy pants yet and am not going to worry about a jacket or tie because it is going to be more over a hundred tomorrow.

The little boy inside me thinks it is kind of cool that I’ll bring something of his with me tomorrow. We were the only two boys in a house full of girls and the only men in a house full of women.

Got to run now, these scraps of paper with their lists of things to do won’t wait for me to find time.

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  1. sailwawasee July 24, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Been following along on your journey. So very sorry for your loss. I’m sure he left knowing you “had it”.

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