With Dad Gone, A Void (Part Four)

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Napping…

To start at the beginning of this little series, click here.)

Now that I am home, really home, after Dad’s death, I am coming to terms with my identity all over again. Carol Mithers wrote a very poignant essay in the New York Times entitled, “Suddenly, They’re All Gone.” Instead of being relieved when five years of caregiving for her mother-in-law, then her father-in-law, then her childless aunt and finally her mother died, she felt worse. She concluded, “While you’re caring for the old, you can’t believe what you’re called on to do and where you find yourself, can’t believe that your time with them will ever end. Then one day, it just does.”

As Dad became more fragile, and I became more vigilant, caregiving did become all consuming. I was neither angel nor martyr; like Carol, I had my days when I lost my temper when Dad locked on to something about which he was dead wrong. But many times, it was a pretty zen experience.

Dad always asked me if I got tired of walking with him or hearing his bits of memorized poetry. I could honestly answer, “Never.”

I miss it.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “With Dad Gone, A Void (Part Four)

  1. Yup, know that one. Miss my times with Mom, and the fun we had.

    Just remember this, the artifacts that were once Dad’s (and your Mom’s), things like a gun that was your Dad’s, that favorite whatever that was your Mom’s that you have are them, living on in some way by you using and enjoying that item.

    Using Mom’s wooden spoons, or her 30 something year old Le Creuset Dutch oven when I cook or something else that was hers are reminders of her and in some way, she’s still with me in some fashion.

    But what I have noticed, not right away, but since January, I’m finding strength within myself to do what I need to do to fix my financial situation and just yesterday, my boss brought up a position at another site that he wanted to run by me to see if I was interested. It is in a print site down in the SODO area of Seattle. Don’t know particulars or anything but the thing that would compel me is if the pay is enough higher than what I’m paid now at my current site (it’s not enough to make ends meet), and the experience gained would be worth my while since I want to move more into graphic design than into print, though knowing printing would be nice as they augment each other.

    Meanwhile, gotta finish up my portfolio, get the resume put together, just in case.

    • Good reflections as always, John. Roger Ebert wrote a piece in which he talked about leaving a legacy of “memes”: “I am comforted by Richard Dawkins theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clichs that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many.”

      Your reply reminds me that there are many ways that your Mom and my Dad live on. Familiar objects that we associate with our loved ones have a way of reuniting us in spirit with the people we are missing.

      • ciddyguy

        “Your reply reminds me that there are many ways that your Mom and my Dad live on. Familiar objects that we associate with our loved ones have a way of reuniting us in spirit with the people we are missing.”

        Indeed.

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