June 21, 2009

Bittersweet Father's Day

Not only is today Father's Day, it's also the civil anniversary (not the Jewish anniversary) of the day my dad died. One year ago I had been back east for a visit when my dad appeared to rally again, so I went home. Only a few days later the phone rang at midnight. It was my sister, calling to say that they had just heard from the nursing facility that our dad had died.

Mom is here for a visit and told me she chose this weekend specifically so we could share Father's Day and this anniversary together. Given that she spends most holidays with my sister and her family, because they live only two towns apart, it was a great idea.

We've had a lovely visit, catching up with each other, watching old home movies, playing cards and Scrabble and filling her in on our bathroom remodel. Mom and I spent hours on Friday going to bathroom showrooms and checking out sinks, shower heads, etc. We even made the first purchase -- I bought a toilet!

Today, Father's Day, will be a bit more low key only in that we don't have specific plans. We'll go check out the new farmers' market near my house (if the rain holds off), run an errand, maybe get an ice cream cone. And of course we'll reminisce about my dad.

Mom says that what she misses the most is having Dad around to confirm that she remembers a certain event correctly. "Shel, what year was it that we....?" Mom is the last sibling (her brother died many years ago), she's in touch with friends from high school and beyond, but she and Dad went back to her sweet 16 party. They shared a lifetime of common history and I'm not surprised that she misses being able to ask him a question.

1 comment:

  1. when my great auntie lizzie died, mum said that it was so hard because auntie lizzie was her last link with her youth; the last person who knew her as a baby, child, young woman. The one who knew her father, mother etc. That was the hardest part for my mum.

    Death is sad for those left behind but I think it is important to remember those who have gone before us and keep their spirit alive in reminising, smiling about things etc.

    Sunflowers remind me of my later brother Peter, and Robins. 19 years, could be 19 minutes