There is great joy in getting a call at 10:30 at night from your mother who tells you about a company that has called to discuss issues related to your father’s death at hours no one should receive such a call.
If you’re me you consider getting on a plane to go meet these fine folks in person so that you can be certain they understand how happy you are with them.
Given the ridiculous amounts of paperwork required to verify my father’s death with 1,092,383 different organizations to make sure red tape is properly handled this sort of call is doubly unwelcome.
I suspect there are organizations and services who take care of such things but I don’t know who they are so we are handling the notifications.
It is a mix of things ranging from auto and health insurance to things like the Auto Club who need to know that my father no longer needs their services so that mom isn’t billed for them.
Did I mention that my initial response was to pretend to be a space dragon who could burn their offices down with fire breath and laser vision or that it is the first company I mentioned who really requires my full attention.
I am pretty sure I called them “fucking assholes” with the same growl and intonation as dad would have.
Not that it matters.
You’ll Remember Me
A girl broke up with me many, many years ago and I told her she would remember me. Not unlike many others I said something to the effect of, “you’ll remember me and wish you hadn’t let me go. There will never be someone who can make you happier or take better care of you.”
That is the kind of thing many of us have said or have had said to us.
Sometimes it is/was ego and sometimes we meant it.
If dad were here I might bring such a thing up with him and ask for his two cents. I might say his father and grandfather were both married twice.
Would he be able to say they were happier the second time around or the first?
Does it really matter?
Not in the context I am thinking of because we are talking about widowers and not men who were divorced.
Don’t mistake this for a lead in to a word, sentence, paragraph of essay about my mom with any one else.
Someone I know through work mentioned it to me and we discovered that I can glare at someone besides my kids and make them back slowly out of the room.
He tried to apologize but I wasn’t having it. I smiled at him and said not to worry about it, but I know my eyes were dead.
I confess to being guilty of taking no prisoners and giving no quarter to people who refuse to consider the possibility that they helped elect a grifter who has no loyalty to anyone, no core values and has managed to make some of the worst people you can think of look like victims.
And I confess to having thought about what it would be like to widowed at various ages.
That is part of what happens when you are a storyteller and observer of life. It is part of what happens when you have conversations with your mom about friends who are widowed and realize some of them have been single for a decade.
Because you start to think about how personal these things are and recognize that when you are 49 the idea of being single the rest of your life probably feels different than it would if you were 10, 25 or 30 years older.
So you think about who you might have said you could make happier than any other and come up with some thoughts:
- There is no way to measure what you could or couldn’t do. Just opinion and we all know what those are worth.
- The idea of there being one soul mate per person is romantic but if you are of a certain age it might feel depressing. What if you thought you had or lost yours and had 50 years to go.
- I thought 30, 40 and 45 sounded really old but discovered they never really felt as old as I imagined they would. Maybe that is how I’ll always feel.
- Friends and Lovers– Bread
- Changes– David Bowie
- Numb– Linkin Park
- Lean On Me– Bill Withers
- Eleanor Rigby– The Beatles
- Empty Chairs– Don McLean
- Thank you– Led Zeppelin
Dad Would Shake His Head
There is a man fighting with me now. He is calling me names and making allegations about my background.
Given the vehemence of his responses I think I have found his soft spot and am pounding on it. I told him I was done and that I would let go when he was smart enough not to engage.
Dad would shake his head and tell me I am being foolish.
I’d tell him this moment reminds me of watching the fights with him and grandpa. I’d say they both taught me the importance of tenacity and ferocity.
They helped me learn that sometimes you don’t waste energy going for the knockout because working the body is effective.
Over time that other guy won’t have the heart to continue or his body will give up.
I have been working the body on and off for a while, but there is no glory to be won here. He is a fool and maybe I am too for continuing to go at him.
Or maybe this is in indication of how time has passed and my grief has settled in. I know it is not going to be around forever.
This is like jumping in a really hot or really cold bath. It is a shock and then your system adjusts to the temperature.
And I will…adjust.
I will probably reach out to a couple of people I had leaned on a bit and say I need to do so again.
Such a strange moment in time. Such a hard moment.
And yet, so damn interesting to explore and consider. Lots to learn now.