Alden’s robot family:

Rody Pony Approves

Life is not returning to normal, but it is creaking back into motion. In a few hours I’ll leave for a short business trip, which will put me out of range of husbandly hands, toddler kisses and silky baby hair. I’ve gotten a lot of those things in the past few weeks, so I know I can ride that wave for 2.5 days.

I’m confronted lately with the pleasant challenge of using up a pile of vacation time. We’re going to Disney in September, but I have a few more weeks at my fingertips. It seems I am now the owner of my family’s cabin by the lake in Kentucky. So we’ll go spend some time there next month and then maybe take a tour of the area that involves a stay at Wigwam Village and visits to Mammoth Cave, Dinosaur World and Kentucky Down Under.

I’m not actually the owner of my family cabin yet. I have yet to file my father’s will in probate court. There’s no one but me, so I don’t know what the rush would be. There’s so much paperwork around a death. If I hadn’t just done this two years ago I would be shocked by all the faxing. Every action I take feels like I’m erasing my Dad from the world just a little bit. It’s cumulative. I’m slowly relegating him to the past. So it makes sense that I’m in no hurry. Everything I wanted from his aparment is in his car, which is in my garage. I’ll open it when I’m ready. Everyone who must know does know. The government knows. I stopped his pension. Those things got done pronto, not because I am being efficient but because my Dad left me a note telling me to do that right away. It came complete with phone numbers, employee ID number, passwords, names. Anything I might need. I hope that I can continue to take care of my kids once I’m gone. What a badge of honor for a parent. The first thing in that letter was “Don’t freak out” and I have clung to that many times in the last weeks when freaking out was exactly what I wanted to do, even though it would not have served me.

I’d like to move away from that fixed point in time where I lost my Dad. I don’t deny its collosal, ongoing effect. I just want to force it to share space with the 70 years that came before.

I got an email from an old CNN friend who wrote, “Remember when your Dad sent all your Christmas presents in a cab?” What’s shocking is that I didn’t, until that moment. My Dad did so many funny things, made so many lovely gestures, that something great could get lost in the shuffle. It wasn’t even when I was a kid, I was at least in my late 20s. He lived in Kentucky and I was in Cincinnati visiting my Mom and Jerry. Dad never fought to have me on a holiday, at least not after his divorce. (My stepmother had a lot of twisted ideas about what was right and what was owed.) He didn’t really care about dates. But that year I was talking to him on the phone on Christmas Eve and he suddenly decided he wanted me to have my gifts on Christmas Day. It normally wasn’t unusual for me to get them around March. I told him that was sweet, but it didn’t matter and wasn’t even possible anyway. And then a few hours later a confused cab driver showed up at my Mom’s house with a back seat loaded with wrapped parcels.

No one in my life is apt to lavish me with such grand gestures and that is just too damn bad.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. I find myself once again saying “I don’t know what to say.”

    Reply

  2. I find myself once again saying “I don’t know what to say.”

    Reply

    • I know. And I certainly don’t want to make people feel like they have to keep up the condolences. I’m just working it out via keyboard and I appreciate that friends are there to read the stories.

      Reply

      • I know. I don’t feel that I need to say anything in particular at all, more that this is a longer conversation than Livejournal is conducive to.
        It’s enough to know, I suppose, that I am here reading, and if you need more, I’ll be here doing that, too.

      • It’s more than enough. It’s a gift.

  3. I know. And I certainly don’t want to make people feel like they have to keep up the condolences. I’m just working it out via keyboard and I appreciate that friends are there to read the stories.

    Reply

  4. I know. I don’t feel that I need to say anything in particular at all, more that this is a longer conversation than Livejournal is conducive to.
    It’s enough to know, I suppose, that I am here reading, and if you need more, I’ll be here doing that, too.

    Reply

  5. It’s more than enough. It’s a gift.

    Reply

  6. “Don’t freak out” I’d keep that note from him forever.
    Maybe someday we can all meet at that cabin, let the kids run around together.

    Reply

  7. “Don’t freak out” I’d keep that note from him forever.
    Maybe someday we can all meet at that cabin, let the kids run around together.

    Reply

  8. I would love that. I’m deeply invested in making the cabin a joyous place.

    Reply

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