I miss the small things I loved to mock-complain about. The tiny things I’d lovingly tease my dad about. My father would often ask “can’t you just pull it down from the clouds?” when he needed a file from his own computer, frequently came to me in panic telling me he “broke the internet” (no nude selfies required 😉 ), or that his email or Safari had magically “disappeared”. Pops was an adorable tech dinosaur but I miss fielding the strangest questions from him about simple things I took for granted. Like how to share a link, or put an application back in your dock after it ‘mysteriously’ vanish, or search for something on Google like a boss. It’d try to explain to Dad that most people don’t write an entire email in the subject line, or that it was probably a spam request, and remind him I wasn’t a magical wizard of computers ;). And vocab. Bless my father, but he had some unique words to describe things on computers. But ask him about viticulture and bizarre compound words of intense specificity would pour from his mouth. Words that would floor me and have me asking “could you spell that” and “is that from the Italian” like a kid on a spelling bee. Let’s just say bizarre wine-related words sometimes cropped up when we played Scrabble, and I lost many a challenge on words that sounded like total BS but actually meant something obscure like the correct amount of clay to have in soil or whatnot.
I have zero clue how to drive a stick shift car. I never had to bring ice in from the ice man to put in the ice box to keep the ice cream cold. I couldn’t make something out of wood or hang a picture with a level. I can barely set up an umbrella, let alone canopy awnings.
It’s weirdly heartbreaking wiping my old computer. It’s the last time my whole family will have accounts on one Macbook, even if their accounts were used mostly when we traveled. My dad has been a roaring lion, my mother flippers, and me that fucking dandelion for well over a decade (because we’re classic AF), our symbols picked when we bought our first family laptop years ago and migrated through the generations of computers since.
It’s not about the accounts. It’s not about needing to find a new person to ask me bizarre computer-related questions. It’s that these tiny moments I counted on my whole life have ceased. It’s about the changes that happen in life, large and minuscule, when someone died. I’ve found it’s the most random things, at unexpected times, that get me, and it feels like I’ll never break out from the waves of pain and memory crashing above me, barely allowing room for breaths.
I miss so many things about Dad. Those ordinary little moments of laughter. I miss that weirdness. I miss his unique brand of weird. I think sometimes the joke was on me…he’d use one of his made-up phrases with a twinkle in his eye, an expressive eyebrow quirked every so slightly, knowing it would make me laugh. He had a knack for knowing when I needed a laugh, without me realizing.
My father had a way of lifting simple moments out of the realm ordinary. I’m so grateful I learned by example how to “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run” (Kipling).
It was a beautiful day here. The kind of day that makes the East Coast jealous 😉. Blue sky. A freshness in the air, a hint of spring at the corners of flower beds. Summer is a sweet far thing.
Looking forward while reflecting back.
As the sun sets, I’m sitting on Willows beach. I’m mildly freezing but it’s worth it to see the sky fade from brightest blue to faint pastels, a hint of pink and orange touching the edges of the clouds that cling close to the land. I’m grateful it’s such a beautiful day. It makes everything better.We spent the afternoon at the hospital. My dad sleeps almost all the time. He isn’t in pain. That’s exactly what he wanted. We asked he be taken off the medications they were giving him, to turn off his pacemaker, and let him be. No subject has ever been taboo, and I’m grateful to have been able to discuss birth, death and miracles in between with my family, and mum and I are deeply respectful of those wishes. I want him to be at peace, with just his breath and heartbeat, and feeling the love, us at his side until the end of this wild journey that we had the privilege of sharing.
I feel like there are tight hands around my heart. A tight fist of panic and grief. It feels as though I can scarcely breathe. I worry what it will mean when the hands release, with a final sigh of breathe. The sound and smell of the ocean calmed me. Steady waves gently rolling in to cover the bare beach. I can control them no more than my fathers breaths, but I can observe and cherish each. Footprints track through the rocky beach, but the birds seem few, and the last dogs and people turn in. A part of me wants to lean closer to the waves, to listen to what they whisper, for them to wash over me and wash away this feeling. But this feeling is a reflection of a life lived with love. It is a beautiful reminder of how deeply we as humans are able to feel.
I love the ocean.
I brought my dad a bouquet of flowers from the home garden. It’s a wild space, and beautiful for it. Lavender, Rosemary flowers, dandelions, heather, delicate weeds I have no name for. Dad loves to see my face light up when he gives me flowers, and it brought my heart solace to do the same for him, even if he sees them only in dreams, or catches a whif of Rosemary.
Thank you all so much for your beautiful words. It means the world to my mum and I. I’m so blessed to have been born to the parents I have, and feel such gratitude that they know my love, and see the joy they bring to my infinite moments. 💜