Sunday, September 18, 2011

One Year.

September 18.  A year ago today I was both gutted and given a gift, all in one day.  My dad died last September 18th. But he waited for me to get to him, and he looked at me, and he smiled when I walked in the room.  For an entire year, my heart has flooded on me when I'm not expecting it--made my throat close and tears surprise me...but there is also laughter that breaks through when I think of him telling me my animals all have "hippie names" or myriad other Dad-isms.  A year ago today I found out it's possible to feel like a 30+ year-old half-orphan if a parent disappears. 

For the most part, my memories are happy, and I don't wallow in grief.  For the most part.  But on this day, I'll not censor the emotions as they come, rapid-fire.  Today I'll listen to the song I brought to him in the hospital, the one I haven't been able to listen to all the way through since. 

Tomorrow I'll pick back up and live in ways that honor him--little things he would have done: I'll throw the ball to my chihuahua, drive the winding road I wanted him to see so badly, and I'll marvel--just as he would have, if I'd have gotten him here--at the way the light falls through the trees.  Tomorrow I'll even do his "would-have"--the one he learned too late, but I learned from: I'll get my flu shot.

I love you, Dad.