Things You Shouldn’t Notice

Yesterday marked a week since my father died and tomorrow will be one week since his funeral.

Every moment that passes I move farther away from the time when he walked upright and stood alongside me ready to share an opinion, express an idea or just hold that line that fathers do.

Maybe I’ll find out there is more to George Strait’s song A Love Without End than just a catchy tune and lyrics that make me smile or maybe not.

The kids asked not long ago if I had ever seen grandpa run and I laughed, “not too many times.” Dad wasn’t a runner.

But I remember the day our neighbor’s dogs got out and how we walked outside and I told the three of them to go home.

The German Shepherd barked and came running at me but dad got in between us and yelled at him and I watched that dog flee.

Maybe that memory is colored by the effect of 42 or 43 or years or maybe not. Doesn’t really matter to me.

But part of what does matter now is I notice things you shouldn’t notice and irks me.

Don’t Be A Scorekeeper

When my son was first born there was a time when it felt to me like my mother and mother-in-law were paying attention to who got to see their grandson and how often.

I told them both I didn’t like it and said that if I felt like someone was keeping score I would go out of my way to share the aggravation I felt.

It was too hard for me as a sleep deprived new parent and entirely possible that they did nothing wrong. Entirely possible that the real culprit was me but I have no way to verify it nor any inclination.

What difference would it make now.


I keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t be irritated by who didn’t send condolences or acknowledge dad’s death.

Death is hard for people and quite a few don’t know what to say.

I have been to at least 25 funerals if not more. This doesn’t make me an expert on death or how to help the bereaved but I do know no one ever complains when I say “I am sorry for your loss.”

No one ever says, “Wilner you are an ignorant asshole and you didn’t mean it.”

Of course if they did say such a thing I probably wouldn’t care. The list of people whose barbs stick in my elephant skin is short.

Which is part of why I am surprised at myself.

Surprised that I am bothered that some people haven’t said they were sorry or offered a stupid like on Facebook.

People who barely know me or haven’t spoken with me much have done so.

Hell, some people who I had fallen out of touch with reached out and offered so much support it embarrassed me because I wasn’t sure I had done it for them.


I don’t want to think about who surprised me by not reaching out. I don’t want to be a scorekeeper but it has popped in my head three times too many so I am writing it down with the hope this gets it out of my system.

Even if they had said or done something it is not like my father would have popped off the top of the casket and said “just kidding.”

That is something I would do.

I have a twisted sense of humor.

Dad had a good sense of humor too, but was far straighter than I am or so I think.

It is possible I am wrong. There is much I know about dad and yet he is my father so there are probably stories we didn’t ever delve into.

Hell, I know there are stories on my end, why wouldn’t there be on his.

My Workout Sucked But Not Like I Like

I didn’t hit the weights while I was in LA and I can feel it now.

Spent almost half the month there and the almost middle aged body can feel it.

Hit the gym tonight for my third workout since I have returned and felt so damn weak. My focus is a step off and the muscle memory feels a bit like it has amnesia.

But when I hit the gym raw emotion was flowing through me and fury lit a fire that gave me a bit of a boost.

I threw some of those weights around and for a moment I felt the pump I was looking for. For a moment I felt things respond as they should and then it was gone.


One day I am going to sit with you and tell you about those final days, the deathwatch.

Maybe you’ll nod your head and say you know what I mean because it matches your experience. I don’t know but I suspect.

One day I’ll talk about how many times dad fooled the docs and the hospice nurse who told me how strong dad was in a way that made it clear he wasn’t blowing smoke up my rear or trying to make me feel good.

And I’ll tell you how I said I knew and how I wondered if I ought to pray for the kind of biblical, split the Red Sea, manna from heaven miracle recovery or a peaceful, painless end sooner than later.

But not now, not today.

Today I am jumping headfirst into the fire because your favorite crazy writer is a hard charger who doesn’t know any other way to go.

Forward, always forward–farther from the days when dad walked with me into the future that comes whether we ask for it or not.

And in the midst of it I’ll carry my own moments along with me and see where it goes and how it all shakes out.

If he could do it there is no reason I can’t.

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