Sep 30, 2008

Past, Present and the New Year

DSC_0053Happy New Year. It's ironic that I should be celebrating the Jewish New Year and the first anniversary of my father's passing on the same day. The day is both hard and hopeful.

The first months were the hardest. Every quiet moment - in my car, in my office, walking down the street - was filled with the sights and sounds and the overwhelming feelings of the night I found my dad. I could hear the home alarm ringing in my ears, see the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles, and feel the chill as reality washed over me. Thankfully those days are mostly behind me but occasionally those feelings come back and overwhelm me again and bring me to my knees. Although the worst is behind me I still think of my dad every day and I miss him terribly.

Holidays are the worst. Preparing a festive meal in my kitchen I'll often look over at the chair he used to sit in and wish that he was still there, quizzing me on the menu, the guest list and my choice of equipment. Sometimes he'd peel apples or carrots or help in some other way but he'd always be there and I still expect him to come and take his place.

DSC_0054I never would've described us as close so I never imagined how much his absence would hurt. As I thought about things I realized that what I miss most is my dad's curiosity. He found all kinds of things fascinating - politics, new roads, everything. Every day I see stuff and I know that my dad would've thought it was neat even if nobody else did.

It's the certainty that I have that I know exactly how he'd react to things that made me realize that we were closer than I ever realized. When the guys were cutting down the trees next door I knew that he'd think it was so cool. He'd want to watch and see exactly how they did it. He'd be really happy that Hillary didn't get the Democratic nomination. The recent hurricane here would've been the source of mant reports from him.

I found this picture of my dad recently. It was taken in his house when it was still under construction. Construction was yet another thing that fascinated him and watching his own home being built was like having his own personal edition of This Old House. He loved every minute of it. I'd like to remember of him just like this. Standing in his home, wearing a sweater that my grandmother made for him and fascinated with what he saw.

I took it for granted that he'd be here to share so many more things with us. I regret that now. I should've appreciated the time we had more but that's the way it always is.

Today I'll celebrate the New Year and I'll look forward to all of the good things ahead. I just wish that my dad was still here to share them.


Carole Knits said...

As the expression goes, you've come a long way, baby. I know the past year has been difficult but it sounds like you're finding peace through your memories of your dad. I wish I could have met him.

Margene said...

A beautiful tribute to your father. So many of us have regrets left behind at the passing of our parents. May your memories stay sweet.
May the new year bring you peace.

Cursing Mama said...

Happy New Year

sprite said...

I think one of the good things about holidays is that they serve as one of those markers in time where it's okay to stop looking forward for a time and to look backward for a while.

May your memories bring you comfort today and always.

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Hugs and Happy New Year!