I am writing but I don’t know what will spill out or whether it will make any sense. I am not going to edit it afterwards. I am just going to write.
Friends from high school (and Facebook) lost their dad a day ago. It seems we are at that age.
And, a young girl whom we know from Benny’s school died from an anaphalactic reaction to medication when traveling in Asia on a school trip.
So, I feel so lucky that you lived a long and happy life. Even when I resented the pressure, and frankly the fear, of how to make it all work financially.
I think you died exactly when you knew it was going to be more than I could handle emotionally or figure out financially. You never wanted to be a burden.
I am going to the apartment this weekend. I am scared. Right after you died, I cleaned out some rooms. I think I was channeling energy into something that seemed constructive. SOB (sister of blogger) and BOB (brother of blogger) have taken some stuff that they wanted. I haven’t been back in more than two weeks. Because the place will not look the same.
We all talked about what would happen to Mom’s portrait. But I didn’t think about what would happen to our portraits. The ones that hung over your bed for literally 50 years.
BOB took his. SOB took hers.
Mine is left. I will take it this weekend.
And, with that, the deconstruction of our home. A small place. Way too small for all of us. I know we had the country house but we were crammed into the apartment growing up. I know Mom and you wanted to give us the best of everything, and some things had to give. I get that now. I used to be embarrassed, but now I get it.
And now I want to emulate you both as models of parental love and sacrifice.
And this weekend, I will take my portrait down from its place since 1967 and I will take more boxes of pictures.
And I will try to absorb all the memories dancing in the ether.
And I will relish the years in this house and regret the toll of my adolescent years and my embarrassment in front of my rich friends.
I will learn again that I am so lucky. That I didn’t bury a sibling or child. That I can take care of my family. That I have wonderful memories of the old days and the knowledge that Mom and you enjoyed your lives.
But I will still be a child in the deafening quiet of an emptying house, taking down my portrait. One of the three that hung above your bed for 50 years.
And a generation of the family, and my childhood, comes to an end.
I love you forever, Dad,
P.S.: I imagine that being with Mom again is the same as it was. She is deep in conversation with a stranger and you are worried that you are going to be late to meet people to go to a museum. I bet the show is “Earth on Heaven: The Horror, the Horror.” If Mom doesn’t know about Trump, don’t tell her.