Scuba and Lex went diving on Saturday and stopped at a garage sale in Monterey on the way home because this 1960 Schwinn Speedster caught their eye. It’s a gorgeous bike, dings and seaside rust and all, and even has a 1966-67 bike license sticker on it still. Lex is the same age now that my dad was when the bike came out, which made me happy this weekend. Scuba bought it for him as an early birthday gift, and they went and had some of the hardware for the seat replaced and made all the employees at the bike store jealous.
We had a short video chat with my brother and his family last night. His two baby boys (one and three years old) were climbing on him and the furniture and each other like monkeys the whole time. So cute and so exhausting. How did I do that, again?
Really early in the morning on Father’s Day my dad was in my dream. Part of it I don’t remember now, but in another part I was doing the dishes in a pretty, long sleeved, button-down shirt, and my dad came up behind my left side and rolled up my shirtsleeve for me so it wouldn’t get in the dishwater.
Later in the day I stopped by my mom and stepdad’s to drop off a new silk Hawaiian shirt and cards for my stepdad. I am always telling my children how lucky they are to have all these extra parents and grandparents in their lives, and it’s true for me as well. The luck and love and grief will eventually settle in and stop trying to outdo one another, right?
Oh Jen, I feel your grief so much and I have continued to keep you in my prayers! Although I lost both of my parents at a very early age (11 and 12), I cannot really say I missed them (except for the THOUGHT of not having parents as I grew up, graduated high school, graduated college, got married and had four kids). But, I can say with certainty that when I lost my older brother and best friend when he was 34-years-old – the grief was unbearable. He was in attendance when our first daughter was born, he heard the heartbeat of our second child (over the phone) the DAY before he died – he never had kids so mine were the closest he’d ever get to children of his own and it was undeniably the best gift, besides my love, EVER. It broke my heart into so many pieces – probably because his love was what I had been pining for my whole life – unconditional and never-ending. I was only a year younger than him and to this day (14 years later), I still get tears talking about him. I still want to pick up the phone and call him when something fun happens in our lives or in the life of our kids or I need advice. But, the grief DOES settle itself into another emotion in your life, a very special place in your heart. You writing down your heartfelt feelings and experiences with your dad are a testament and memory for you and your children – and to give them that is beyond unselfish. Keep talking about him. Keep feeling the love you feel for him. Keep giving him the attention you need to help remind you of that wonderful love you shared with your dad. Your grief will eventually be replaced with even more love than you ever thought possible. Love that expands your heart and your lifetime and enables you to share your feelings aloud instead of keeping them all in. I have even found that writing to my brother in a journal continues to help me feel like he’s still a part of my life – he just has a new address in heaven. I think you are doing great – your grief is subsiding in your writing – even though you are still talking about your dad, it isn’t every day and your notes of him aren’t as “raw” as they used to be. I think you’re processing his passing very well, and you have Scuba and your kids to hold a little closer when you need some love hugs.
Tammom — you’ve been SO kind to me over this past year. Thank you. You’re right that having the kids and Scuba helps so much, and your words do, too. I’m so sorry for your losses. xoxo
Jen – just a thought but if you have any of your dad’s clothes or ties or the special “fabrics of his life” (or if your stepmom does down here in Texas), I would be honored to make a memory quilt for you out of his items. My philosophy has always been from an anonymous saying, “When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love” and it’s what started me quilting when I was 19 because I *needed* a blanket of love, to take with me always, for security. You have my email address in the sign-in for comments, so feel free to email me and I’ll give you my mailing address. With this MS, it may take me a year to get it done – but, it will be something you can treasure and hold close to you and help share a bit of your dad with your kids. I can’t remember (memory not good in people with MS) but if he worked at NASA, then he was close to Houston – not sure if your stepmom is still in that area, though. I go there every October for Quilt Market (at the George Brown Convention Center downtown) so if it’s something your stepmom has, I can make arrangements to meet up with her to get anything she would like to share with you. If she has a lot, I may be able to put together something for all of you – your stepmom, your brother and you. THIS is one of the many reasons I quilt, to share my sewing gifts with those who don’t – and to help produce a memory through fabric that is never forgotten…to hold close when the grief is trying to consume you, to smile at and remember when someone wore that plaid shirt or that obnoxious tie…and to give just a little peace of mind to someone who is hurting.
I’m speechless. That is such a lovely and kind offer. I have a few of my dad’s old tshirts (I sleep in them) but not any other clothes, really.
He did live in Houston, about 60 miles away from the space center.
I miss him. A quilt made of his shirts would have been such a treasure. Thank you for thinking of me. 🙂 xo