long time gone

My dad died 7 years ago today. He’s been gone one-sixth of my life, and one-half of my daughter’s life. I find that I’m focusing on all the things he didn’t get to see and experience with me and, especially, with his grandchildren.

I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I can’t take comfort in the thought of him smiling down indulgently from a fluffy cloud as his 42-year-old daughter gets tattooed (something he could never bring himself to do — even in the Coast Guard,when his buddies went to be decorated with dragons and anchors, he couldn’t deal with the idea of the needle).

And it wasn’t “God’s will” that took this flawed but fundamentally wonderful man far too early, at age 67 — it was a cruel and swift cancer.

He’s gone. And every year at this time, when the weather is swelteringly hot and the cicadas’ buzzing is loudest (a sound that will forever be the soundtrack of walking to my parents’ house during my dad’s last weeks), I’m confronted by the fact that some things just aren’t fair, no matter how many ways people try to rationalize them.

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2 responses to “long time gone

  1. I’m very sorry.

    I lost my Mom to Lung Cancer a little over a year ago. When I hit that mark, I looked at my husband who lost his Dad seven years ago and wondered how I could ever make it that long without her…

    It ISN’T fair. And it CAN’T be rationalized.

  2. You have my deepest sympathy. I have great difficulty imagining my life (and my family’s) without my mother. She lives next door; I’m her only child, and we have her only grandchildren. She’s a daily part of our world. She’s currently the only 74-year-old I know who doesn’t take a single prescription medication — but I know that some day that luck will run out, and I’ll have to cope with the unimaginable loss.

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