Friday, October 1, 2010

It is Written; It is So.

I've been struggling, since my last post before my dad died, with what to write next in my blog.  Like my personal "Groundhog Day," my mind always revolves back to the same point: memories of my dad.  Things sneak up on me when I least expect them, and I'm reduced to a puddle of tears--some through smiles, some through laughter, but all through the missing that happens when one is able to say, lost, that someone loved is gone.  Forever.  I doubt I'm the only daughter who feels at peace with her dad's passing, but still clicks frantically through the memory bank of the mind to recall what her father's voice sounded like--remember it--one more time...maybe two more.  I guess, perhaps, my heart needs to commit these memories to the fact of the written word--make them so, and then they will be.  While these memories are personal, and I'm once again indulging myself with my blog, the fact of mourning those we grieve is universal at the same time it is individual, so maybe there's more here than just me.  Maybe.  Forgive me my cheap therapy, but I need it for today.

I remember...
I remember that, as little more than a toddler, I used to call myself "Kalinda Mr. Mosley" because I was so in love and awe with him, and I'd follow behind his big lawn mower with my little plastic push mower, thoroughly convinced that I was cutting the grass he missed, and he never crushed that dream.
I remember when I was obsessed about The Black Stallion series of books and the movies, and I happened upon an announcement that the horse from the movie was going to be at the San Diego Zoo.  And he took me because I asked.  Horse-loving-girl bliss.
I remember when I was the bullied fat girl, and he tried to teach me how to fight in the family room by holding a pillow to his chest for me to hit, and it all ended in my tears, because I didn't want to hit him.
I remember all the nights he'd decide he wanted to hold whichever hamster I had (I had many throughout the years, but this was the experience they all got to live), and he'd fall asleep; the hamster would be gone, leaped down from his shoulder, from the couch, to the floor and down the hall.  We always found the hamster, and we always scolded Dad's narcoleptic tendencies, and he'd always swear it would never happen again...until it happened the next time.  And the next.
I remember before California seat belt laws and his common sense, he'd drive me and my sister up to my grammy's house, not in the cab of his truck (because it really stunk to be sandwiched in the middle of that thing and have my knees bashed with his metal shifter), but--much to the horror of many drivers, I'm sure--in the back of his further: we stood up, holding the roll bar like water skiers.  The ridiculous danger of this now dawns on me, but back then I'd have nominated him for "Father of the Year."  (no, I don't advocate this, nor would I let my child do it.)
I remember, when I was 12, he legally adopted me as his own (my mom married him when I was 2)--because he loved me that much--and presented me with a diamond ring on the day of the final paper signing.
I remember when my sophomore boyfriend broke up with me, and my dad held me while I sobbed, and he whispered in my ear, "Now you can go out with Zac"--THE boy I'd had a crush on for 2 years, THE boy that all the other girls had crushes on.  THE boy who I'd never have had a chance with, beyond the friend he was, but to my dad I did.  To my dad, at that moment, that's what I deserved.  And I loved him all the more for saying the right thing at that moment.
I remember my college graduation for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest being that his voice is forever immortalized on the video he shot, asking "Who's the pasty-faced guy?" in reference to a bizarre creature of an English major who found his way into most of my classes.  He was, indeed, pasty.
I remember how even though he didn't understand a career of art or writing, or anything non-analytical, he encouraged me, and I remember, to my core, the way it felt when he finally told me how absolutely proud he was of me and how much he loved, and was proud of, my husband.
I remember the daily barrage of his emails about politics and vitamins, tips about dogs and hokey cure-alls and cute animals, and though I rolled my eyes on most of them, it's bizarre and surreal not to see them in my inbox anymore.
I remember entering the room that last day with him and seeing him smile through the mask on his face because I made it to him, seeing his eyes meet mine for brief snatches of time, showing him--finally--the crow tracks on my foot that he'd been waiting to see in person, sharing Cinjin's song with him and him nodding for its beauty.  I remember being there with him the instant he left.  I remember.
So many sweet, laugh-inducing, tender (or all of the above) moments are stored in my mind.  How rich I am.

(There's a story about an arcade that I will keep to myself, but I reminded him of it in his hospital room, as I filled a few hours with stories on our final day together; it was the tale that got the most response from him, so suffice it to say that it was a ridiculous, hilarious, embarrassing, and forever thing to remember, with only three other people and the stranger-girl who witnessed it in the know.  ;)~ )

Homer Mosley: October 25, 1933 - September 18, 2010