I don’t have dreams about my Dad like my sisters do. Even Li, Mom’s old caregiver says he hugged her in a dream last week.
Oh, Jodi. I had to call and tell you because I know how much you must miss him. Especially now. He was a good man, your Dad. He was gone too quick. Much too quick. I miss him! God, how I miss him screaming all the time about losing this or that. I got used to the screaming, you know? Or him telling the people on the phone that he was an old dinosaur…
It’s easier to just rest my left hand over my eyes as I listen to Li remember Dad. That way I can mop up the drops of saline before they slide down my face.
..but he hugged me in my dream and I thought of you. I know it must be really hard right now.
Right now being this very second? Right now as I watch Dad’s arch enemy the backyard squirrel dig for nuts and tear up the greenery?
Right now being–Every. Single. Day.
Little does Li know that I blotted pools of saline mixed with under eye concealer with the kitchen towel an hour prior. Or that I shouted, God damn it, Dad! as my right toe met the handle of an ice cream container full of marked and sorted golf balls. Right now being November? Better yet the day before Thanksgiving?
Well before he joked about the weight limit on the casket, about God ordering the sod, about a half-dug grave, I knew that bitch called grief would be pulling up a chair and settling in at 1202 today. Feet planted, knees bent, she’d have a front row seat at The Arndts First Thanksgiving with a Dead Father and a Mother Home from the Memory Care Center.
So many moments in which to shine, Arndt kids!
But grief will miss Dad whipping out the Dirt Devil two minutes before everyone arrives so he can vacuum up some spot on the carpet I missed which then causes Mom to declare, I wanna get outta here!
Grief won’t spy us all raise a glass at the dining room table as Dad’s Hip! Hip! Hooray! annual toast to me tomorrow will be absent.
All those moments together as a family. Oh, how Dad loved them!
And I loved helping curate those before/during/after Thanksgiving moments.
Grief won’t feel my arms hug Dad’s shoulders after dessert. His left hand, squeezing my elbow twice as I plant a kiss on his cheek and say, I love ya, Dad.
Grief, she will miss all of those moments.
My new NOW, I guess is the one that follows my Dad’s death. This new NOW takes some getting used to.
I don’t like it. I hate it actually.
But when things are shit, when I am so very sad, like today; I play back the movie in my mind of ever so small moments between Dad and me. These teeny tiny fragments are deposits he left in my heart and on my mind.
And when I want a version of those moments all to myself, I stick in some earbuds and and remind myself that this is my new NOW.
Hi, Jod, Dad. Just a little before 7 on Thursday. Or could be Friday. I don’t even know what day it is. Can you believe it? Oh, here looking at the calendar it’s Thursday. Call me back because I want to talk with you about what to get from Costco for Thanksgiving. Looking forward to having you home, Jod. Ok, love ya. Bye-bye.