Friday, June 19, 2015

Sumnmertime, and the living is...

Not all that easy, at least for me.  It's coming up on Father's Day, which means that there are ads everywhere as people try to convince children that Dad really does need more socks or another tie or more tools.  Naturally, this always makes me think of my own father, which is its own minefield.

On July 4 this year, it will have been 17 years since my father died.  As I'm now 34, it means that he's been gone for half of my life.  He died suddenly, while my mother and I were away visiting family and my brother was working the night shift.  I spoke to him on the phone maybe two days before that, and I remember telling him that I loved him at the end of the call, and being really confused with myself as I did so - that wasn't something my family did.  We didn't say it, because everyone knew that we loved each other.  It was "sappy."  Knowing that those were the last words I ever said to my father has given me some measure of peace, though it does mean that I have an obsessive need to end every phone call with people I love with those words, just in case.

This time of year always makes the memories hit a little harder, even as they've softened around the edges with time.  I feel like Dad died before he got a chance to really know who I was, because I didn't know who I was then.  I was 17, and thoroughly obnoxious and self-centered.  It took a long time for me to become a person I'm proud of, and he missed it.

I'm trying really hard not to just dump my daddy issues into this post - no one needs that.  I'll just say that I would be perfectly content to jump from the end of May straight to the end of July/beginning of August, whenever GenCon happens to be that year.  Until then, I'll be hiding from the great burning ball in the sky and trying to be a person worth remembering, the way Dad was.