07 November 2009

Conspicuous

So it's birthday week here in our family...GoGo and Angus this weekend, Nana & Dan this coming week, Reagan next Sunday. And in there is also the anniversary of Luke's (Carol's 2nd husband, who was Jame's stepdad when we dated and were first married) death. Which, sadly for Carol, will always be on the day before her birthday.

All of this is enough, every year, to make me crazy or reach for a brown bottle. With a long neck. Wink wink.

But this year, it's hard to really get into any of it, because the one (sorry, guys) that I most want to celebrate is conspicuously absent. A week from today is Dad's 66th Birthday. Last year he turned 65, and while we couldn't do what we wanted to do because of his health and treatments (rent a houseboat, a dream of his), we were able to celebrate BIG...with a surprise visit from Ronny, who told Dad that weekend that they were coming home early from Taiwan. Somewhere on one of the blogs, we posted a picture of me & my family taken that Saturday last year. I don't know when the last one was taken before that, maybe at my wedding, or if one was taken after. I don't think so. So it's a special picture, even though Dad looks well, sick, and we're all sitting on my couch that doubled as Dad's bed when he visited. Only I care about that, right?

More and more every day, it's getting hard to smile and push through, because every day there's something else I want to tell him or show him or run by him...every day he's not HERE. Ronny's planned a great weekend next weekend when we'll get together and eat Dad's gumbo and celebrate his life and birthday...but he won't be there, and I just don't know how to do it. I know we'll all get through it, one step at a time. We don't have a choice, right? I don't mean to be all poor us on Saturday morning, and I don't mean to take anything away from the people we ARE lucky enough to celebrate with this week. But that's what's on my mind, and in my heart. I want to spend time with my Dad, I want to celebrate him. I want to watch him open his birthday gifts and place bets on how long it will take him to spend $50 at Academy, $1 at a time. I want to watch him open the apple I know Kayci would wrap for him, and the unh-unhs we'd probably wrap up from Noble. I want him to hear Noble laugh, and hear Kayci talk about her Science Vocabulary test in first grade. I want to whine to him about how tired I am after our trip last week...and then tell him about all of the things we saw that made me think of him. I want to get him a new Grandpa's fishing team shirt that we forgot to buy after Noble's birth--how did we miss that? I want so much...normal. But for today, I'm remembering a year ago at the Bread Basket, seeing Ronny for the first time after a few months (the longest we'd been away from him since the Marines), Noble's snot bubble at breakfast, seeing Timmy & Emma...building Sami the craziest dog house ever. It was a good day. And that's enough, I just need to remember that. These are good days, too...there's just someone conspicuously absent. I'm grateful for the good days present and past, and that's what I try to focus on. But somedays I let my mind go and remember and wish, and this is what I think about.

2 comments:

Lil Knowles said...

I'm so sorry for your hurt!! I will be praying for you. And remember, you will see him again one day and it will be far better than you can imagine! Love you, Lil

Kristi said...

thanks, Lil--I think that just saying it (or typing it!) helps, honestly. :) James and I talked about it last week, and it's time for me to start talking and get some of it out...don't know if this is the best place, but it works for me! Hope y'all are having a great weekend!