Two Weeks. And A Day.
That is how long it has been since Dad left this world. 15 days, half a month.
These 15 days have become a relearning experience. Not an easy one, nor one that is far from over.
What I’ve found is that the relearning depends on the memories, and not dreading those memories. I’ve done numerous double takes as I sit in the living room watching TV, reading, on the computer, hopelessly looking for the next life step. As I do this, more often than not, for a brief second, I glance over at my Dad’s chair with the intention of saying something to him about the show or the news.
Then it hits you.
That conversation doesn’t exist. However, all the previous like-minded conversations will always exist, and form the basis for this repeating itself many times in the future.
The relearning that will happen, even if I resist, will not be easy.
Our heat system makes little bumps and noises. At times, it sounds like my dad making his way from the bedroom to the bathroom late at night. Noisy, but strangely comforting.
I’ve had a couple of dreams about my dad, but these were not the sad “Sorry you are gone, Dad” variety. These are the joyful, somewhat fractured but still very real memories of thing s that we did in the past. When I dream, I may remember mood or a screen shot, but these are different. These are vivid and stay with me. And they are good, and that is good.
I get a bit frustrated trying to learn to shop and cook for one, constantly thinking about what my Dad would want to eat and what he would bitch about if I made it, yet secretly enjoy.
His glass stands in the sink. His personal stash of books and DVD’s stay under his table. Today, I start to go through his belongings to see what other memories await.
The quarter that fell out of his pants when he bumped his head that fateful night remains on the floor by his bedroom door. He tried to reach over and pick it up. He had a huge lump on his head, and was concerned about his quarter.
The quarter will stay there until we leave the apartment.
The quarter is a simple symbol. The quarter is an achievable amount of money, a portion of the way there in distance, and the start of what lies ahead.
When the quarter goes with me to my next home at my sisters, I’ll take it with me to remind me that a quarter means a lot when you use it to get to the next quarter. And the next. And those next quarters will be with my Dad in spirit and in attitude.