The Association is singing Never My Love which isn’t appropriate for the particular memory of dad that keeps forcing its way onto the internal movie screen so I push it out and think 0f the bells.
Somewhere during my workout that memory floated up to the surface and I found myself staring into my father’s eyes.
It was one of the last moments in which I am confident we were communicating with each other as the drugs hadn’t taken him to the gates of the twilight ride yet.
That moment is almost too personal to share and in some ways so very painful but I don’t walk away from some fires.
I step into them and let the flames try to consume me.
I can feel his hand in mine, feel him squeeze mine one final time and see him try to protect me. If I was selfish enough to ask him to fight the drugs to stay with me longer he would have done so.
But I didn’t and I have no regrets about that. It wouldn’t have changed anything and he deserved to walk the twilight road.
And with that memory I am reminded of the ache that will never go away.
I can manage it all and focus upon other things. I can accept the ache but I don’t have to like it.
Sometimes I put on a particular tune or song and find my rhythm.
If the counter on the elliptical is to be believed I have taken three minutes off of my mile which is no where close to where I want to end up, but enough to be noticeable.
My whole body hurts and I am not entirely sure as to why, though I have my ideas.
Saw a picture of myself today and was shocked to see that from behind my posture and position looked like dad.
Thought again about how the video I usually link to around this time of year and the chanting of Unataneh Tokef.
If I was in LA I would go to the cemetery now to visit and because he can’t I would go visit my grandparents on his behalf as we usually did.
I would tell dad about so many things, some small and some large.
Might tell him now because I figure if he can really hear me there, well then he can hear me here too.
And then when I got to Grandpa Wilner’s neighborhood I’d tell him someone yelled at me for photobombing them.
I used to do it whenever Grandpa was around, not sure how it started but it made him laugh so damn hard I kept doing it.
Maybe he and dad are still around. Maybe I can get to them and other relatives, if I just figure out how to go somewhere beyond the sea.
I could tell them about my time at the range today and pick up that conversation about shotguns, bats and Glocks we never got to finish,.
Tell them about how Wednesday nights are ladie’s night and conversations with the kids about learning how to use tools properly.
Talk about how threw my entire body into moving a pallet for a guy and how I told him if I were 27 I never would have let the 50 year-old embarrass me that way.
So much mishegoss and so much narishkeit.
Someone asked what happened to my ring and my initial thought was about a ring I got when I was in high school.
Can’t remember where I got it, but it spelled out my name.
One of my high school girlfriend’s wore it on a chain on her neck. She wanted to wear it on her thumb but it was still too big.
I know I got it back but haven’t a clue where it is anymore, assuming I still have it. Not really sure that I do.
Took my son’s hand and held it up to mine and determined my hand is still slightly bigger than his.
He was pleased as he thinks my fingers are too big.
I laughed because I couldn’t wait until my hands were as big as dad’s.
His hand doesn’t look quite right in the picture, it is slightly swollen and has a few age spots. When I think about his hands I usually picture something that looks like…mine.
After dad died I took a bunch of his jackets back to Texas. His daughters and granddaughters don’t need them and frankly they are too big for all but his oldest grandsons.
But I pulled rank because they absolutely fit me and I am the only son.
I haven’t gone through all of the pockets yet and that is intentional because unless dad has totally fooled me a few of them will be filled with mystery treasures.
Might be a couple of now stale mints, an old receipt or two and perhaps a note he wrote to remind himself of something.
I figure I’ll go through them slowly over time and maybe I’ll get another gift or two from the old man.
Probably won’t be anything too exciting, but they’ll mean something to me and that is enough.
Still keep expecting him to show up. Still keep expecting him to call to say or to ask me to come by the house for a project he’ll swear will take 10 minutes even if we both know it will be 10 hours.
Seventy-five years from now I’ll tell the kids to remember that grief is a funny thing, at times a small puddle or stream and other times a tsunami.
I’ll tell them I have always found a way to walk, swim or paddle my way through it and encourage them to do the same.
My baby will be 90 so I suppose they’ll probably have learned a trick or two of their own by then but I can’t imagine I won’t still try to help however I can…assuming I still can.