Dad – And then, there were the feathers…

I’ve struggled with how to write today’s post. 

It’s been one year today since Dad travelled to that great unknown…

And, being honest, this grieving process has been very different than any other I’ve gone through before. While his death has been the most significant of my life, and I certainly miss him, it’s almost as if he’s still here with me, which is saying something because I live so far away from all of my family. 

Some days, his presence is stronger than others, like the day I built my office chair. I swear to you, he was sitting on the floor next to me, guiding me in that quiet, gentle way he had. He didn’t take over – he never did. He allowed you the space you needed to do it yourself. Not to say he had unlimited patience. I had a habit of trying his, especially with math problems!

And then there were the feathers. I told you about those. All those walks I took last spring and summer… with Dad by my side… I talked to him quite a bit out there in nature. I think it’s part of the reason I’m so excited to get back out there this year! I want to walk and continue my health journey but I also feel like it was “our time”… you know?

Dad was not a sentimentalist by ANY stretch. He was a regular guy who had a tender heart but didn’t wear it on his sleeve. However, since his fall in late 2017, he’d changed. He’d nearly died but not directly from the fall itself, which was one of those silly accidents that would have been no biggie in your thirties but a REAL biggie in your 80s.

It was surreal. He was the dad I knew before he went in for the first surgery, joking with me over the phone. But as the days, surgeries and infections wore on, and he was hurting and frustrated with the progress (or lack thereof) he got uncharacteristically melancholy. There were happy times of course, and I was blessed to be able to visit as he was recovering in a nursing facility. Ultimately, we were given three more precious years with him. He wanted to live longer but his heart (and I suspect his body, too) wasn’t having it. He slipped away peacefully at home next to his wife of 60+ years, my dear Mom.

I’ve run out of words to describe how important and loved he was by me.

Of course you love(d) him, some will say, he was your dad.

You don’t get it. <<< Yep, that’s how I’d answer.

Yes, he was – simply put – my dad. Of course.

But he was also my savior, in ways that are deeply personal, sacred and safely stored in my heart. I know it sounds maudlin. Can’t be helped. It’s my truth. Mine and his.

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