Two more friends said goodbye to their fathers for the last time and thus the club none of wish to join expands.
We welcome them with open arms and offer our most heartfelt apologies and condolences knowing it doesn’t really take the edge off, but we want to offer however much help we can knowing that every little bit helps.
The problem is the bits are never quite enough.
Two days ago my middle sister had to say goodbye to their family dog and that hurt a bit too because he was family and I have my share of memories with him.
A work colleague heard me refer to this and asked if I thought my dad and the dog were running together in whatever place we visit after leaving here.
I shook my head and said probably not because dad wasn’t a runner. I figured it was more likely to find him sitting on the couch with the dog across his lap and then it got me thinking about the afterlife.
If such a thing exists what shape do we take there? Are we able to assume the appearance of our favorite age or do we go in the way we left.
Given I have sometimes told people I want to retire to become the Dread Pirate Roberts it occurred to me that dad’s final surgery is what sent him into hospice.
They had to remove part of a leg.
I have seen more than a few movies or read stories about pirates who had peg legs. Maybe dad beat me into the pirate business.
Maybe in 25, 30 or 50 years I’ll find Cirdan and sail out of Middle Earth and discover Dad has set up a pirate kingdom for me to take over. That might be kind of neat, being the Pirate Angel.
I’ll sail my ship right back into the earthly plane and terrorize the folks who thought they finally got rid of me or maybe not.
The guy isn’t smart enough to look around before he speaks which is why I hear him badmouth me.
He says something about how I never took him to lunch and comes close to jumping out of his skin when I respond.
“I told you to tell me when you were free. I said I would sit down and try to help, but I am not going to chase you.”
“Um… do you want to get lunch tomorrow?”
I don’t tell him I already have plans because that would let him off the hook. Let him sweat for a moment. Let’s see if he follows up with a second request.
“You know I didn’t mean anything.”
“I know what you meant. When we go to lunch you’re buying and I am picking the place.”
I get a mumbled ok and when I walk away I am 90 percent certain he’ll never ask. I don’t care if he does or doesn’t. I am a team player, sometimes I play rough.
“Dad, you’re smiling.”
“That smile makes me nervous. It is the one you say makes your friends get ready for trouble. What are your intentions?”
“Nothing honorable, to take the girl and ravage her. She hopes I will but is afraid to expect it.”
“DAD! I don’t want to hear that.”
“Yeah, I know but you told me the smile made you nervous so I had expectations to live up to.”
“I can’t win with you.”
“You can’t lose either.”
“What does that mean?”
“Now you sound like the girl.”
“Which girl? Are you talking about mom?”
“Nope, the girl.”
“DAD! I just said I don’t want to hear that.”
“I know, but expectations and all that.”
“Sometimes you make me crazy.”
“Now you really don’t sound like the girl, I make her crazy all the time cuz I won’t be pinned down. I am like a bird that must be free.”
He rolls his eyes which gives me just enough time to sing some Freebird to him:
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now
Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see
But, if I stayed here with you, girl…
Had a dream the other night that I was leaving Texas again, but couldn’t say if it was for LA or Florida. Couldn’t tell you who was in the car with me or if it was the usual alone by myself.
Drove straight into a sunset that was beautiful but blinding and hoped I didn’t crash.
Woke up remembering the pieces I shared and silently muttered “hope I die before I get old.”
Sometimes you walk a million miles with an empty hand and sometimes you walk five with fingers intertwined in yours.
Kipling was on to something.
“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”