Friday, December 26, 2008

i missed my dad

today i visited my mum's home in cobourg.

this was lake ontario on a very windy, cold, snowy sort of day . . .

in the gradual unravelling of experiences following my dad's flying away today was perhaps the hardest as i visited his home and of course there wasn't his huge gift of a hug. in all my moments of happiness for his having learned to live well and good, there have also been an equal number in which i have wanted to share a funny story or a photograph or ask a question. today would have been such a day. his bemusement at the family antics, his concerted efforts to share his knowledge and wisdom with me. his extraordinary ability to pick up my rapidly growing son (regardless of his weight although it was openly wondered if this year dawson had outgrown my dad's ability to lift him) were all absent.

in some respects i have had a degree of preparation for this, as i have often felt a similar wistfulness at not having the warmth and wisdom of my grandad to share thoughts and ideas with. but the longevity of my relationship with my dad and the advent of technologies that supported the immediacy of contact that distance denied us (and which we used unsparingly!) have made the sudden silence hard to bear.

i felt the deepest compassion for my mum today as she has dealt with extraordinary competence and determination with the minutiae of paperwork, organization, and most especially the redefining of herself as not only an independent person - for she has been very much that for much of her life - but as a wholly self-dependent person.

we laughed loud and often despite the empty space at the table and most especially, we shared our love as a family.

when i got home this evening i enjoyed a thomas hardy ale that i was going to share with my dad . . . it comes highly recommended!
on the way home i stared out the window and watched a familiar stretch of landscape pass by

sylvia plath - sheep in fog

the hills step off into whiteness.
people or stars
regard me sadly, i disappoint them.

the train leaves a line of breath.
o slow
horse the colour of rust,

hooves, dolorous bells ----
all morning the
morning has been blackening,

a flower left out.
my bones hold a stillness, the far
fields melt my heart.

they threaten
to let me through to a heaven
starless and fatherless, a dark water.


Goldenrod said...

Ah yes, Steven, I understand completely. My therapist once told me - and I'll never forget - that a loss "also" means that you no longer have that person to share the good news with.

I put the word also in quotes because it is important -- very important, not just an 'also'.

What a pure and utter joy it is to be able to share good news with a loved one, one who will rejoice and shout with you and be glad for you.

The journey you are taking, Steven, is a solitary one. The journey your mother is taking is a solitary one, as is the journey everyone who was close to your father is taking.

I empathize.

Am sending you as warm a hug as I possibly can from this long distance, but I realize it will do you little good. Nonetheless, here it comes. Try to catch it as it wafts through over the blogwaves!

steven said...

thanks for your wise and insightful words and thoughts goldenrod. no number of self-help books can compare to the value and generosity of direct and honest understanding. steven