Just a few days until autumn. Already it’s cooling down. Yesterday I threw on a long sleeve shirt and the day before I wore a sweater.
I got some bad news on Sunday. Lisa called to tell me the family who lived behind us.. I used to babysit for them… the husband dropped dead of a heart attack that morning. His wife was one of the first people to our house after my dad died. She’s a nurse so she heard about it quickly. Their kids range in age from 12 – 24ish. That’s too young to lose a daddy. I feel so awful about it. In fact, I think I feel worse now knowing what it’s like to lose a father. Just 6 months ago I would have been like, “Ahh, that’s a shame. Tra la la.” Now I just want to cry for them.
So many people around us have died. Two of my mother’s friends had husbands die within the last few months. It’s like the men are dropping like flies.
Do you remember that movie from the 90’s called Singles? There’s a scene in it where Brigitte Fonda’s character opens up the refrigerator and finds nothing but a bag of brown salad. She then makes herself the most disgusting salad ever and eats it. WELCOME TO MY LIFE! My dinner this evening was a brown salad. I am back to pickles and triscuits as my main mode of nutrition. This is no way for a 37 year old woman to live.
And here’s something disgusting… I have tons of rotted food in my refrigerator because I CAN’T THROW IT AWAY! I have a grapefruit that came in a fruit basket after my dad died. I have an empty bottle of Pelegrino water and containers of yogurt that I can’t eat because my dad gave them to me. I have a bag of my dad’s favorite cookies that are now like rocks that were made by my mom’s friend for his memorial service. I CAN’T SEEM TO GET MYSELF TO THROW THESE ITEMS AWAY!
I keep telling myself that it’s all garbage. It doesn’t represent my father. Throwing them away is okay… it’s not like by not doing so my father will magically appear. He’s gone.
I really am doing okay. Yes, things got a bit difficult before my birthday. But I am handling it. I just need to throw this food away and go grocery shopping. One small step for man…
Friday was the big day. Mom and Lisa took me to my favorite restaurant, DeLorenzo’s for pizza. We haven’t been there since my mom’s birthday. That last visit was so memorable and fantastic. It was our last time out as a family. John Beck brought out a pie with a candle on it and everyone sang Happy Birthday to my mom. Rick even came out and said hello to us! My father was so happy! I remember he kept joking with John Beck about silly Roller Derby names. Lisa kept clicking pictures with her cell phone which annoyed me… and now I am so grateful that we have photos of it.
It was just a couple weeks later that my dad died.
We wanted to go back to DeLorenzo’s but there was just something stopping us. I know that I was worried I’d walk in there and collapse in a heap of tears. Gosh, I remember going to DeLo’s with my dad back when I was 10 years old! How could I walk in there with out him?
At any rate, we went and no one cried. Instead we laughed and had a wonderful time. Thank you, John and Rick!
The next day I went to NYC to see Gainsbourg. I’ve been wanting to see it for ages. It was crazy and I loved it. Unfortunately they left out the whole Whitney Houston scandal. I also went to UNIQLO and bought some long sleeve t-shirts. The rest of the day was spent trying to get back home. I have no idea how people can live in NYC. There’s too many people and they all smell like urine and body odor.
I spent Sunday visiting mom and sitting out on the deck. We went to Home Depot and bought a lamp for the kitchen. We also stopped at Marshall’s and I bought two dresses, a shirt and a wrap sweater.
Monday was spent writing and listening to Peter Wolf songs.
I think 37 is going to be just fine.
I am 36. Tomorrow I will be 37. My life is in some ways better than I ever dreamed and in other ways not quite living up to my dreams.
All I know right now is that I miss my dad so very very much. And it is killing me that he’s not here.
I think of him taking me to Great Adventure for my birthday two years ago. We went on one ride because that’s all he could handle… but what a ride we went on, El Toro!
Thirty f-ing seven.
I had a terrific dream the night before. I dreamt I was with my dad, floating in space. I sat on a pillow and I had a bunch of strange items balanced precariously on my lap; my dad floated next to me unencumbered. We laughed and talked and it felt so right. My alarm went off, ripping me away from him.
Almost every night I dream of my father. The dreams are very real and comforting. I wonder if they are inhibiting me from truly healing since I feel like I see him every night? It’s strange.
I miss him so much.
The carpeted floors are going bye bye on Tuesday not today. That actually works really well because I won’t be around. You see, tomorrow we are chartering a boat to release my father’s ashes. My dad’s friend, Johnny actually got us a boat and the four of us (five if you count the captain) are heading out to carry out my daddy’s final wishes. Of course, dad’s wishes weren’t that we do it from a boat. He wanted us to throw him off a Belmar rock jetty. For some reason, this didn’t seem quite do-able so we decided to do it from a boat.
I like the idea that the Atlantic Ocean is his resting place. Who wants to go to a cemetery? It’s so much nicer to sit and look out at the ocean and know he’s there.
My one client said to me, “But Donna, isn’t it illegal to sprinkle a person’s ashes into the ocean?”
I smiled and said, “They can come after me.”
This client of mine is a channel/psychic/healer. She told me that dad is very proud of us and happy. She also told me she was Mary, Queen of Scots in a past life. I believe her.
Well that was just the weirdest Father’s Day, ever.
The morning was spent getting my house ready for the new floors. Lisa and Mom came over and helped me move the larger items. Once everything was moved, we sat in my now practically empty parlor and tried to come up with new company names:
- Cosmic Marketing and Designs
- Moonjava Marketing
- Poupi Kakas
- Magnolia Marketing
- Starbright Marketing
- Starlight Marketing
- Sunstar Marketing & Designs
- Blue Karma Marketing
Poupi Kakas was a joke, I think.
They went home and I followed a few hours later. We ordered dinner and ate it out on the deck. As we ate, we cried. Once dinner was finished we went into the dining room with dad’s ashes. We opened the box, untied the bag that contained his ashes and scooped some of his remains out and filled the cremation pendants we recently ordered online. Mom then decided she wanted to put a little of dad out with Cocoa and so we went into the backyard with about a tablespoon of dad and sprinkled him into a hole right above Cocoa’s stepping stone grave. I wiped the dust of my father that stuck to my hands onto the wet ground and cried. Back inside we filled a pill vial with more of my father’s remains. My mom said we can take a little bit of him to Slovakia and the remaining bit we can mix with her remains when she goes. Everything else will be unleashed into the ocean tomorrow.
As we poked through my father’s remains, I kept wondering if we’d find his gold tooth. I almost wanted to find it just so I could be sure this big bag, full of gray ash and tiny flakes of white bone and teeth, was really him… instead we found his dental implant. My mother said, “Do you want to keep the implant?”
I thought about it. There was this weird part of me that wanted to keep it regardless how macabre it seemed. My father wouldn’t have liked that idea one bit… of course, he wouldn’t have liked us donating his lower flesh and bones to science or us sprinkling a bit of him with Cocoa or taking him to Slovakia or wearing him around our necks. Where would I keep it? In my jewelry box? I put it back in the bag.
I walked to the kitchen sink and washed my hands. I visualized all the years my father stood at that sink, mixing up his weird vitamin concoctions. And now here I stood, washing his dust from my hands. He was literally going down the drain.
What did I do next? I poured myself a drink and tried to numb myself.
I hope everyone had a lovely Father’s Day!
I bought this dress at TJMaxx the other night:
Isn’t it pretty? My plan is to wear it to Blobfest and the Blob Ball since it has such a 50’s feel to it.
Unfortunately, I am trapped inside of it and can’t get out. I thought I’d try it on but the damn zipper decided to stick (which appears to be a common issue with this dress) It’s too tight in the body to pull over my head and clearly, it ain’t going over my hips. My mom said if I give her an hour, she’ll come over and try to help but honestly, I think I may have to take scissors to it.
This situation reminds me of a time when I was a little girl, probably around 8 or 9-years-old. It was 1983 and I was in the original Zipperhead in New York City. What was a 9-year-old girl doing in Zipperhead late at night? My parents took Lisa and me to see my cousin Johnny’s art gallery showing and across the street was Zipperhead. My father was intrigued by it and insisted we go in. There was a dressing room to the left of the entrance and in front of it, on the ground, was a woman, grunting. Gathered around her feet were three Zipperhead employees, trying desperately to peel the PVC pants off her frame. She wore tiger-printed underwear. I was quite disgusted by the situation but Lisa thought it was great. That Christmas she asked Santa for PVC pants. My father bought her not only the pants but also a matching jacket and hot pink, leather skinny tie. The present was signed, LOVE SANTA! She was truly the most awesome dressed first-grader ever!
UPDATE! The zipper dislodged and I am free!
Death brings with it so much more than just loss. It brings an uncomfortable truth. Death has a way of shining a light on relationships and allows you to see what is authentic and what is lacking. Over the last two months, certain relationships that I thought were strong and special have crumbled while other relationships that I thought were nothing turned out to be stronger than I ever imagined. Friends drove over 6 hours to be at my father’s memorial service while family members couldn’t be bothered with a 2 hour drive… much less picking up the phone.
I am trying to give some of them the benefit of the doubt… they are unsophisticated and just don’t know how to act or they are bothered and pained by death and are held back by their own fears or they’ve never experienced such a close, sudden loss that they don’t get it.
Of course, my mother says, “Say what you will, the truth is they simply don’t care enough.”
It’s a shame, really. But then again, it’s best to know where you stand with people.
And now comes the decision, what to do with this new found truth? Do you continue to be generous? Do you pretend not to care? Or do you drop out?
I don’t know.