Yesterday, I did not leave myself time to ponder the fourth anniversary of my father’s death, I kept myself busy. I took my mom to the movies and then to lunch to keep her (and me) distracted. I was a chatterbox, talking about anything I could (mostly politics) to keep her from dwelling on that horrible night in the hospital, to keep her tears from spilling over. I got back home in time to go pick up my son from school. Then it was a walk with my husband and my dog. Oh, and UPS delivered my new vacuum cleaner (yay!), so I vacuumed the whole house. (Being without a vacuum sucks 😀 ) Then dinner. Then the Daily Show and Colbert. Then bed, where I played Bejeweled and Scrabble on my Nook until 1:15 a.m. but still couldn’t sleep. The Cokes at lunch probably didn’t help. I tossed and turned, but I didn’t let myself ponder.
No pondering the night before either. My dad died in the wee hours of January 10th, so it is January 9th that left the permanent shadow on my heart, the way the intense heat of an atomic bomb leaves a permanent shadow on a wall (I’ve heard). That night, to me, is the real anniversary — the night I am again on the edge of tears and could drown in them if I let myself. I read my book until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore and, thank god, slept through most of those gut-wrenching wee hours.
Today, I will be back in the current moment, without a need to suppress the past. I wonder when my dad’s death went from being a knock-out blow to a fact of life. Maybe about a year later, when I was tired of crying and being mired in grief.
So, I do anything I can to avoid pondering on the anniversary of my dad’s death. But somehow, this early morning at 6 a.m., when I am still half asleep and waiting to wake my son for a new day, I am helpless. It’s winter. It’s dark outside, and damn if it doesn’t feel like the wee hours.
Miss you, Daddy.