Saturday, January 26, 2008

Loose Ends

One year ago today, my dad died in his sleep, the day after my mom returned home after an eight week hospitalization.

While my mom's progress in regaining the use of her limbs has been consistent, it has also been so achingly slow that the anniversary seems overdue. The half-expected spontaneous recovery never materialized, instead she managed a long series of mind-numbingly minor improvements through sheer force of will and without complaint. Was it really six months before she could transfer herself from the wheelchair to the bed? When did she start taking those first awkward steps with the walker? It's a blur now. Last week, she went to play bridge armed only with a cane. By next month, she should be able to drive again.

On the other hand, it's hard to believe my dad has been gone this long. For thirteen years, almost every Wednesday my dad and I would spend the morning fiddling with the Model A's, driving them, talking about them, or visiting friends who owned one. We must have met to "play cars" well over 600 times, but it was never dull, even when he couldn't do much more than ride along while I drove. We finally got around to cleaning out his closet last weekend. More than once, a shirt or a hat would cause someone to exclaim, "That's Dad!" A lot of them fit me, like the bowler pictured above, so I'll wear them. And think of him. And smile.


peter hoh said...

Isn't it odd how our perception of time works? The two events -- your father's death and your mother's return home -- start at the same point, but travel through a year at different speeds.

Here's hoping you continue to find comfort in the tangible and intangible things he's left behind.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Perfect! You said what I wanted to say much better than I managed.

Truth be known, I had decided not to publish this - while revising it a few times, I guess I hit the wrong button somewhere along the way. Didn't realize it was published until I saw your response pop up in my email. I guess I read my own blog more often. And quit trying to do more than one thing at the same time. *LOL*

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I have found that the loss of a father is often a boomerang of grief at the weirdest, most unexpected moments.

May you continue to soldier on, the dutiful son.