Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the brilliant peaceful gift

the day he left was a brilliant day. it was finally over. all the waiting. all the fuss. all the pain. there was no more what if. only what is.

of course i was left to sort through what is. what was. and figure out the difference between what was and what is.

the rain. the hospital. the tears. the cancer. the kleenex. the food in the cupboard. the clothes in the closet. the money in the bank. the memories in my mind.

what's real? what's fabricated? what's only my perception?

my perception is my reality.

one foot in front of the other. moving. shifting. changing. growing.

without having to wonder when it was finally going to happen, i could focus on what was next. but then, just what the hell was next?

the funeral.

but let me stay in this moment of brilliance for one more moment. one more moment of relief. one more moment of surrender. one more moment of knowing. one more moment of peace. one more moment of this gift my father has given to me in letting go of this world and giving it to me to do with as i choose.

the funeral can wait one more goddamn minute while i sit here in this peace.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just To See Him Smile

I'm "supposed" to be doing something else right now. But I guess if that were really true, I'd be over *there* doing it, instead of *right here* doing this. And this is much more important. For now.

I'm a DIY kinda girl. Part of that comes from not wanting to ask people questions when I was a kid for fear of getting in trouble, and part of it is going with my father to job after job after job, and not only watching him build decks and fences and furniture, and repair plumbing and electrical and mechanical stuff. He was a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, a jack-of-all-trades handyman.

My father wasn't much of a technical guy, though. When it came to computers, he relied on me to help him. My father was comfortable with tools in his hand, and I with a computer at my fingertips. I felt like it was a great payback system for all the handy stuff he showed me how to do for myself over the years. It gave me a great sense of pride to be able to teach my father how to do something because I'd learned so much from him over the years.

In the last stage of my father's cancer, he couldn't get up and move much. He was tired all the time from the blockage in his liver and the medication and the cancer. His mind couldn't stay focused on any single thing for too long, but he could stay focused on Freecell.

So I bought him a laptop. Just so he could play Freecell in his lap and not have to get up to it.

The laptop had a huge 17 "screen. He felt like the cards were coming right at him. His birthday had just passed in October, and December/Christmas wasn't quite there, but when it comes to doing something just to see someone smile, there doesn't have to be a special day to do it.

As I'm sitting here going through page after page of the book and looking back at those last 7 days with my dad, I'm drawn to think about not the 7 days, but all the days that led up to the last ones. I still have that ginormous laptop, and I'm pretty sure the only thing it does anymore is play Freecell.

When my father passed away in the January following this for-no-good-reason-other-than-I-love-you-and-want-to-see-you-smile gift to my father, I wondered if I'd wasted the $1,000 I'd spent on it, as I had nearly no use for it.

I can replace that $1,000. What I can't replace is the joy my father took in being able to play Freecell right in his lap. And as long as I remember him, I don't really have to.