Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stumbling Forward

It's been eleven days since Dad's death, and twenty-seven days since the hospital first called me to tell me Dad was there. I think I'm learning to deal with it better, but I still have those moments of unexpected sorrow and loss.

I had been accustomed to discussing even the most mundane events with Dad; it's still force of habit to pick up the phone and give him a call, and I have done it several times without thinking. Dad never recorded his own answering machine message, preferring to use the "prepackaged" one on the phone; now I wish that he had, just so I could hear his voice on the machine once again.

I know that I have some family recordings of Dad from various happier times, and I think I'll get them out in the next few days just to hear Mom and Dad again. I miss their voices so much; since we lived miles apart, I relied on the phone to stay in contact. Now I can talk to them, but I can't hear those voices any longer, except in my memories.

Today I'm mopey; Kim and I spent an hour or two at Dad's house on Thursday, sorting through a few things and making some plans as to what we need to do. Being there with her was good for me, because there's no one alive other than she and I who can remember what it was like to live in that house--and that's a bond that we will always share. There are many wonderful memories there, and those memories make the solemnity of the coming months more bearable.

And I know this sounds remarkably self-indulgent and egocentric, but there's also something particularly sad about my birthday tomorrow. This will be my first birthday without either of the two people to whom my birth and existence really mattered for each and every one of the past fifty-four years... sort of a lonely thing, and it leaves me disinclined to want to do anything to mark the day.

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