image by Caleb Scansen, one of my favorite photographers
check out his Facebook page Caleb Scansen Photography
I had a rather dad-less sort of Father's Day today. The only time I felt tears threatening to appear was when I was putting Ania to bed and we were reading a poorly written children's book that had a story of a family getting on a plane to go visit their grandpa and grandma. She looked at me and said, "My grandpa lives far away." I asked her where her grandpa lives now? She tilted her head, said "um....", furrowed her little eyebrows, tilted her head the other way, put her finger up to her lips, and said, "what's it called?" It's like she was trying to remember the name of the city. Trying to recall Everett or Olympia or San Diego. Like in her mind the only thing she can imagine is that he's just living somewhere else on the planet. Which sort of breaks my heart to think she has an inkling of an impression that he chose to leave. I finally said, "Heaven?" She said, "Ya, that's it." And then we were back onto our nearly plotless early reader.
Yesterday my mom and I were driving to Samish Island for a family celebration and mom said, "Tomorrow is Father's Day." I said, "Ya, that sucks." Which pretty much was all we needed to say. I know she misses him more than she ever though imaginable. And even though I don't cry, (I honestly doubt whether I have a tear left inside my body after my past couple years) I do have a hole inside.
You know that passing, fluttery sense you get when you know you've forgotten something really important but what it actually is that you forgot hasn't quite come to mind yet? I walk around with that. That slight uh-oh feeling. And usually, when you force the complete thought to come, you realize it's just the camera or the water bottles or the field trip permission slip sitting on the kitchen counter and life will go on without it or you'll make an extra trip back to get it. No big deal. But when I stop to register what my uh-oh feeling is about...it's my dad. And that he's not at home tinkering in his shop today. He's not sitting in his chair with the phone next to him on the table. I can't ring and ask him my copper oxidization questions. Then I miss him. But usually not for very long because someone is crying or fighting or locking their keys in their car or getting mono, and I have to go save that child from their latest crisis.
I actually hope the little dad shaped hole in my heart never goes away. I can make friends with the hurt so that I can have the joy of remembering. And when it's my happy turn to walk into heaven I hope it'll be just like we hadn't ever been apart.