Sunday, June 8, 2014

Anniversary of Suck

Last Sunday, Mom said, "Should we do something at 2:05?" "Yes!" I said, having no idea what she was talking about. But that marked the time that Dad had been gone exactly one week. By coincidence (or perhaps not — the insight and wisdom of my boy cousins is impressing me more and more), my youngest boy cousin stopped by right then. He cracked open a beer, I poured a wine for me and Mom, we lit a candle and put Billy Eckstine on the CD player, and we all toasted my dad and shared a moment together.

Today, back in Arlington, I was talking to Mom on the phone and said, "Are you marking 2:05 in some way?" She said, "Yes, I'm pouring a glass of something, toasting your father, and thinking of you doing the same thing in Boston." I was cooking dinner (it was 5:05 my time), but I refilled my sangria glass, brought a picture of Dad into the kitchen, lit a candle, and toasted.

In the meantime, my youngest boy cousin texted me a photo of Jerry Duck, the namesake baby duckling born the day after Dad died. I think my youngest boy cousin is looking out for me, which is so sweet. (In the photo, Jerry Duck is checking out a shapely girl chicken, which sounds just about right.)

Every day I wake up and it hits me: "I don't have a DAD." At church today, one friend told me that it will be that way for a while, then it won't be that way every day, and then it will hit me at random times. It's already hitting me at random times, like when I saw a newspaper review of a new TV reality show pitting toddlers against each other in things like block-stacking and coloring, as their parents cheer them on. This is just the kind of (gross) (ridiculous) thing I would have cut out and mailed to Dad, and I cried and cried because I had no one to send it to. But then I thought — I have a dozen people to send it to, and I'll add a Post-It saying "Wouldn't Dad have laughed/groaned at this?!" And that is one way I'll keep him, and his particular appreciation for the absurd, alive and close to me.

Tonight while I cooked I listened to the soundtrack from Kiss Me, Kate, one of my dad's favorite shows. I love listening to music he loved, because it helps me feel closer to him, wherever he is. And this afternoon my dear friend Writer Jenny came by and listened to me talk for a long time, which was lovely. I find myself telling the story of his final days over and over, and it's getting easier. I think I'm coming to peace with it.

Tomorrow my goal is to finish writing what I'll say at his memorial service and the two-page handout we're inserting in the program. Once I've finished that I'll post it here, so you can all get to know my dad a little bit better as well.

He was a great dad, but he was also a really great guy — witty, charming, and debonair, a consummate and gracious host, a generous and kind friend. He leaves an enormous hole in this world.

I've been trying to take care of myself — eating well and getting a good night's sleep. I went to zumba on Thursday, and it was okay; I'm debating whether to sign up for summer zumba or try something new, like tai chi. My knee is doing okay, but now the other one, the "good" knee, is buckling, which drives me crazy.

Every time I go home my weight shoots up 10 pounds, but it's gone back down again — though the 10 extra Tam pounds continue to plague me. Hmm, let me refill my sangria glass and ponder this . . .

(Hey, sangria's full of fruit! It's healthy! Don't judge me.)

xo Lady C . . . just a teensy bit snockered . . . on fruit

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