There are certain markers throughout life. Time markers, actual locations, music, etc. When I hear Def Leppard or Skid Row, i’m immediately back in Jr High. The class, the (few) friends I had. The sunny So Cal days, the itchy Catholic school skirt. 

When I see or hear about a Ren Faire, i remember vividly being a shy teen set loose by my dad & step mom to run free through a place that was far beyond my cynical, insecure judgement. Everyone else looked like they were having so much fun, but I could never quite get there.

This day is a date on a calendar. Dec 9. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except for me it actually marks the anniversary of when my dad died. This day used to feel daunting. Too big to process other than a feeling of sadness all day, sometimes all week. It’s the beginning of the flashes. They come when all is quiet. 

The early morning phone call.

The ER

My stepmom crying 

My dad’s still body

The numbness

From there it goes to the order of events, the funeral prep, the support, the funeral, the family trip to Dland to celebrate his pained and often sad life. 

I wonder when i’ll stop going over it all…if ever? I get through it tear-free most years. 

I showed my daughter a picture of her Grandpa this morning. A man she never even had a chance of meeting. She’s 5. Her immediate response was, “Aww, he looks like a good person, mom.” 

He tried. 


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