July 18, 2011

Dear Dad,

Two years to the day that we sat in a room that smelled of newsprint and coffee as you silently slipped out the door, just as you did when I was a child falling off to sleep. I am still sometimes surprised and amazed by your absence. I am still sometimes surprised that it’s possible for me to exist as flesh and bone when you don’t.

Lately, you’ve taken form as Ella Fitzgerald crooning for the crowd at the bar where I wait for a friend. You’re the tiny end table with the hand-painted cherry design in the antique store – the same table that served as home to your ashtray, corncob pipe and lowball glass of Budweiser that I’ve never seen since. You’re the smell of Skin Bracer aftershave in a crowd, though I can never find its source. You’re the shared eccentricities infused into each of us: the lone eyebrow that raises on its own whim. You’re the harmony of the hymn sung in a rare visit to church. You’re the “do you remember” moments we share like a secret language. You’re the bend in my path that I cannot see past. You were and will always be, the moon.

11 responses to “July 18, 2011”

  1. Mother and dad approaching 88. Both living with me. Am not looking forward to the inevitable and what am I to do with the other when the first one passes? Thank you for your story. It prepares me to some extent.

  2. Beautifully written, Jenny. Wish I had the chance to meet him. He must have been amazing – you are. I’m daily thankful for you.

    You know…

  3. Jenny,
    What heartfelt, deep and gutwrenchingly honest words are these. I so feel for you and and hope you feel my support and love,

  4. Loss of a parent is so hard. I still ache for my father and it’s been almost 9 years. The years of loss just blurr into a mess.

    I totally get you when you wrote that line “I am still sometimes surprised that it’s possible for me to exist as flesh and bone when you don’t.” I always felt in that moment….why am I still standing..or existing? I wanted to be obliterated into nothingness…the pain was so great that it became a weird numbness…an out of body feeling.

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