I was downtown today, for an appointment with a surgeon about the potential removal of a non-cancerous cyst. I arrived early, worried about traffic and parking, so I had a few extra minutes to walk and think, and now I am trying to put those thoughts down in a way that makes sense.
As I sit here now, in my family room, tapping away with the sun on my back, I find myself feeling thankful. I am thankful for the good things I have. There are so many.
There was more I wanted to add to my recent post but I didn’t want to tack it on the end like an afterthought. I actually wrote and deleted many words before hitting the publish button. I wrestled with writing anything at all and thought a lot about what this blog is actually all about; its Purpose. Is it a record of our lives, or just the best or more interesting or humorous parts of our lives?
That happy feeling I had, the one that was the result of a great day to myself and the 16th birthday of our youngest daughter, didn’t last. Well, it lasted until the next morning when I opened my email and saw a note from a person who’s never reached out to me before. My father’s wife, who he married after my parents divorced when I was in my early twenties, wrote to tell me that he had passed away the night before. He was 73.
Some of you already know the story. In a nutshell, my father found religion and hasn’t been part of my life for the past 20 years. Sometime during my last year of university, he called to tell me he was moving. I asked him where he was moving to, because that’s what you ask when someone tells you they’re moving, right? There was a pause, a very uncomfortable pause that went on for too long before he told me he would not be giving me his new address. That was the last time we spoke.
How do you mourn someone who hasn’t been part of your life for such a long time?
I am writing about this here because I feel like I have to. The day should be marked somehow… and this is it. Someone suggested I light a candle in his memory. There will be no candle. No flowers. No cards. It was also suggested I attend the funeral and bring the kids. This won’t be happening either. I don’t want anyone’s condolences, I just want to go on living my life.
I haven’t been able to pinpoint the right word to describe how I am feeling. I am not sad, mournful or bereaved. I’m not grief-stricken or morose. I knew he would go some day, but, in a way, he’s been dead to me for many years. I have a few happy memories of my childhood, but those are stored away like old family photographs.
Funny thing, there were times when it occurred to me that no one would tell me he’d died and that I’d somehow find out years after the fact. I guess I can say that I am relieved it didn’t unfold that way.
I do hope he had a happy life without me.