Late at night on November 14th, just two weeks after his 75th birthday, my Dad made himself a drink (gin and caffeine free Mountain Dew on the rocks in a plastic tumbler with yellow smiley faces on it), sat down on the couch, turned on SportsCenter, and died in the blink of an eye. Dad said he always wanted to go that way. But for me, my family, and everyone who knew him, it was shocking. (“Good for him, bad for us,” my mom keeps saying.)
When I got the news, my thoughts and emotions raced, and the writer inside my head instantly began composing a eulogy. It was at the same time the easiest and toughest writing assignment I’ve ever had. It was easy in that it’s not difficult to find good things to say about my Dad. I’m pretty sure he never met anyone who didn’t like him--400 people came to his funeral. It was difficult in that I wasn’t sure if I could sum up the essence of my Dad in words. But writing about him truly helped me get through a few tough and surreal days. Writing helped me to process and heal.
In the 38 years I knew my Dad I never once saw him read a book. He read the newspaper and few websites every day, but it’s safe to say that he didn’t read a single novel after he finished school. That’s one of the many ways the two of us were different. But he was a wonderful guy, a great father and an enthusiastic grandpa (he read lots of books to Murray), and I’ll think about him every day.
So that’s why I haven’t posted in while. Monday I’m back to work after funeral leave and the holiday, and my life will get back to (almost) normal.
Sunday, November 26, 2006