I probably make a post about my dad every year at this time; it’s a really hard week to deal with and even though it’s been four years now, it still aches.
So I’ve been thinking about what to say and how to say it. In many ways, how quickly it happened could be seen as a kind of mercy, but it still feels astoundingly unfair, to not know how much time you have with the people around you. To not be able to prepare. To take it, all at once, and to have to deal with the business of loss immediately, while you still feel like you’re in a nightmare. This isn’t real, this isn’t happening, I can’t find the title for the Mitsubishi and I need it now. A few weeks later, being upset with a decision by DC Comics (or whatever) and having the instinct to tell your dad because he’d get it! But remembering: you can’t.
I did get to say goodbye to my dad though. Not the way you think you’ll get to say goodbye to someone you’re about to lose, because you expect to see them the next day, but still, a goodbye. It had been snowing amd I was angry the district manager hadn’t let us close early at the job I had then. The last time I talked to my dad I had been complaining, but about stuff I probably still complain about. It was probably round 10pm. It kills me that I can’t remember the specifics, that I don’t remember if he was wearing the orange sweatshirt or the grey t-shirt. Jeans or sweats. He had been heating/cooking roast beef from Stop & Shop because it was always too rare for him, and he said he’d save me some (he did).
The last thing my father said to me was to “Be good,” because that was always what he said to us kids when we were leaving. And I, as usual, answered, “I’ll try,” being a smartass, not really knowing the implication of it later. My dad told me to be good, and I feel like I have spent the past four years trying, trying to be good.
And it is so very difficult to be good in a world like ours, but I’m trying.