Sunday, April 1, 2012

In the Parentheses

This will be quick. I don't want to stay here for very long....

My Dad died nine years ago today.

So much has changed since then. Isn't it odd? One day's hardship years later is a memory with a bridge built backwards. A bridge I don't cross so often anymore. Once, I crossed it frequently. I would run back there along those clackety foot-boards over the curve and linger close to the edge and feel the weight behind my eyes.

I'm only 20 years younger than you now Dad. How strange. But this means I understand you so much more. I know your struggles. I know your anger. I know your bitterness. As e.e. cummings said so well "Old age sticks up keep off signs) & youth yanks them down (old age cries No Tres) & (pas) youth laughs." Believe me; I feel I'm in the parentheses now and if it would help I would have a big-ass sign on my lawn if I could.

If I'm older now, am I still your youngest? Not really. I'm not your black sheep anymore, I'm not the one you seemed to be working so hard to change. I'm more like you now and I even see you in the mirror some mornings. And I wonder...how many heartbreaks did you endure while, oblivious, I chattered on and skipped about in my clueless exuberant youth? That's what I understand so well now.

We were so different and yet now, you are the only person I want to talk to.

But I also know what all your worry and anxiety did to you. So I'm trying not to be angry, I'm trying not to struggle so much with the sheer muchness of the world. I'm trying to let go. And since I can't talk to you I have started letting my worries drop like handwritten notes off the side of that bridge. And most days, it's helping.

17 comments:

The Defiant Marshmallow said...

All that can be said is thank you for your willingness and ability to share this. To say any more to say would take away from what you've done.

Rubye Jack said...

This is such a wonderful recalling of your father. I think we all feel as you do, but couldn't begin to describe our feelings in such a poignant and eloquent manner. Thanks for sharing this.

Tim Riley said...

"the sheer muchness of the world." Love that line.

I'm on that bridge a lot-great piece of writing.

Pickleope said...

That was beautiful. Nothing much else can be said than that. Sincere, heartfelt, thank you for sharing that.

Antares Cryptos said...

Eloquent piece.
Maybe he was trying to change himself?

G said...

wow powerful words...

Michael said...

It's a privilege to read this. Coincides nicely (and wondrously) with a book I'm reading by Wayne Dyer called the Shift. It's about moving from the morning of life, ego & ambition, to the afternoon, meaning and peace.

Dr. Cynicism said...

Good stuff man. My thoughts are with you, and thanks for sharing that.

Mrs. Tuna said...

My mom died on Thanksgiving 2 years ago, still the person I want to talk to everyday. I understand. XOXOXO

Alistair said...

My Dad was the last of my parents to die. When it happened I felt like an orphan at 50 years old and for the first time I realised how much had been left unsaid even though we had a very close relationship and had the ability to say we loved each other regularly.

I see my father in the mirror too - especially the bags under the eyes - and hear his laugh in mine which is a comfort and a twinge of pain at the same time.

A lot of what you say here echoes familiarly with many of us I think. Not many could put it so well.

Cheers bro.

Meg said...

How very moving. Thank you for sharing.

Alittlesprite said...

thank you for sharing this. I know as I am getting older I understand more what my parents when through, all those years ago. I just wish my other siblings appreciated what they sacrificed for us.

wendy said...

Gosh, I think this is my favorite post of yours. Maybe I connected with it as it has only been 16 months since I lost my son.
I understand death.
And....my dad's health is very precarious, and I am trying to prepare myself for THAT call.
Do you ever prepare yourself??? or do we just face it and deal with it when it hits us. I am wondering.

I loved the analogy of the bridge. WOW, I so got that. I just want to write it down ( I have a book I write some of my favorite things down in) so I can remember that.

Thanks for sharing this heartfelt post with us. 9 years may seem like a long time to some of your readers....but I bet it feels like it was, only a few days, months ago.

Nicole said...

Beautifully written. Thinking of you and remembering my own bridge back to my father (1997). I don't go over it much myself any longer. But I do think about him and smile more than I used to. Surviving someone, even someone with whom one has a complicated relationship, is painful. But the distance between my father and me has given me enough perspective to understand him and love him without my own demands on him getting in the way.

I'm glad you seem to have that, too.

PokerLawyer said...

Just beautiful. Really.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Very fine post.

dbs said...

Thanks for the kind words peeps.

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