Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Dad,

My roommate and I both forgot to check the mail yesterday. When I got home from work today he went out to get Saturday's mail and waiting for me was the check from your finally settled estate. It's been 1 year, 8 months and 22 days since you died and now it's finally finished. I'm sure I don't even have to say how perfect it is that I am getting it on Father's Day. And of course it's not about the amount of money. It's about the fact that this chapter of your post-death business is now closed. I don't have to wait and wonder and call the lawyer and Uncle C or feel like there's this dangling piece, this moment that needs to end but won't resolve itself. I don't know if there's such a thing as complete closure when someone so loved dies. But there has now been closure in this specific area. And I am so grateful for it I don't even think words capture it.

Thank you for your generosity, Dad. And for your love. If I could have you back I would tear the check up in a heartbeat.

I love you,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dear Dad,

I have to confess, I've been avoiding writing to you. Work got really intense and shitty and I ended up leaving that salon and am now at a new one - happy and loving my work again and feeling really good about life in a lot of ways. And I don't know if it's a coincidence but I've found myself thinking about you a lot less. The way things have been lately, when I feel really low or sad or vulnerable everything about missing you comes rushing to the service. Being in a highly dysfunctional situation at work that was causing me to feel depressed on a regular basis had me thinking about you almost more than I could handle. But now I find you receding into the background a lot more. You're still here, don't get me wrong. I somehow manage to think of you at least once a day. But there's not the same feeling of crashing, overwhelming sadness and desperately missing you. The edges are dulled a little, the waves aren't so tidal. But we all know that today is Father's Day, so naturally you've been creeping into my mind more and more as the week has moved toward Sunday.

I have never been much of a fan of Father's Day. And a lot of that had to do with you. But not because of issues of your parenting. It had more to do with the fact that you were the WORST person to have to shop for in the history of gift giving ever. I swear, I've never met anyone who was more useless at offering up suggestions for gifts that they might like. And what was your usual response when asked what kind of a gift you might like? A package of t-shirts with front pockets for you to put your cigarettes in! Seriously! I mean, sure, it was easy to buy you those and I did way more often than I care to remember. But I like to buy something with some actual meaning or quality for someone I love. Although I won't deny that I didn't heave a sigh of relief when you told me you didn't want me to buy you anymore Father's Day gifts or even send you a card. I remember that you said you didn't think you should get anything because you weren't the best Dad of all times. And I'm sure I said something to placate you or argue the point but I was mostly glad I didn't have to drive myself insane shopping for you for that occasion! That left only your birthday and Christmas. Two shopping events was plenty for a year when it came to you.

This now marks the second Father's Day since you died. And I loathe the holiday even more than I did when I had to shop for it. It's just so much salt on the wound again and again and again. Everything is about Father's Day: a display of hair products for men at the salon, several of the emails in my inbox from mailing lists I am on, Facebook sidebar ads, print ads and TV ads and mail circulars and people all mentioning what they're doing for the day with their living fathers. I just can't wait for it to be the day after tomorrow, you know? But I was thinking that maybe for Father's Day I should start getting a gift. Maybe everyone who has lost their father should. Something to recognize the loss and memorialize the father and maybe just soothe the hurt a little, little bit. I wouldn't even mind a tie - I like ties. Just no t-shirts with front pockets.

Happy Father's Day Dad, I miss you and love so much.
xo C.