Coins in the pond at the Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Back when my dad was sick but not sick enough to be in the hospital, back before he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, I went through a time where I kept seeing men in crowds who looked very much like him. One sitting in the front row of the church where Scuba and I went to hear Handel’s Messiah at Christmastime, and another sitting on the edge of a planter box in midtown Manhattan eating his lunch, were both so similar from a distance it was really hard not to walk up to them, just to check. After he died, I was dreading seeing someone who looked like him again, but it stopped happening.
Yesterday Scuba and I took the girls up to San Francisco to have brunch and just kick around. On the way up we were in a little bit of traffic and there was some kind of 60s muscle car next to us, I don’t remember which kind, and I said (for the millionth time) that my grandmother used to drive a Nova, and I thought there was another kind, too, maybe a Chevelle? I said, I’ll have to ask my Dad, not remembering until the words were out of my mouth that I can’t ask him anything anymore. I haven’t forgotten like that before. It was awful.
It turned out to be such a good day, though. We had brunch at Suppenkuche, and on the way back to the car passed by an open residential garage with a little vintage shop inside. The woman behind the counter took an instant photo of us and I bought a little brown dress.
At home we made supper and then sat down and watched the newest Muppet Movie, which I hadn’t seen yet. The kids know my dad was a big Jim Henson / Kermit fan, so they kept watching to see if I was crying. I was fine, till the ending song when I quietly lost my shit. They didn’t notice, though. I’ve gotten so stealthy with the crying!
On Saturday Scuba and I went to check out the house for rent. I am trying to not think about how very badly I want to move there, because there were a lot of people there and it’s not like it’s in the bag or anything. Trying to keep busy till we find out near the end of the week. Not like that’s ever a challenge.
It’s my little brother’s birthday today. He is thirty-freaking-nine years old. I don’t get to see him often enough, and it’s hard to find time to talk (his boys are only one and three), but he’s helped me so much as we’ve loved and grieved for our dad together. And I am reminded, with his birthday, how precious our time is and how quickly it goes. I’m super lucky to have a family I adore, and also to have Scuba to get us up and out and doing fun things all the time. I am pretty sure if it were up to me only, we’d rarely leave the house because of my overwhelmedness. Thanks to him we’re getting all these bright and sweet memories to store up for later.