April 5th is never a good day. It is The Worst Day, or at least it was eleven years ago. That was the day my father died. I wrote a post about it last year where I told you things about the situation that I hadn’t properly talked to anyone about. You can read it here.
I thought there was something special about last year, as it was ten years. An even number. A full decade. It was the weirdest thing, but I would say that the sorrow is just as intense this year. People (me included) keep pretending like there’s a significant difference between ten and eleven years. But I’ve realised it’s just 365 days. The number ten punched me in the face last year, but so does eleven. And so will twelve. The pain doesn’t fluctuate dramatically – it changes gradually.
But my biggest issue with this eleventh year is that I live so far away from his grave. With everything else going on I might not make it to his grave this year. And that hurts me. I feel like I’ve left him. Like he thinks I don’t care. I feel like I’ve betrayed him.
But I want him to know that I do care. I’m going to light all the candles I can today. And maybe I’ll even travel all the way to get there, even if it’s just for a few minutes. But at the same time I know that the stone and the flowers and the church isn’t what really matters – isn’t he more present in my memories than he is in that stone? Isn’t he more present in the blood that runs through my veins? The colour of my eyes? Isn’t he more alive in me and my sister than anywhere else?
Maybe I’ll just lay some flowers for him in my heart. Maybe I’ll hug my sister a little bit longer the next time I see her.
Or maybe I’ll spend some time remembering everything. Maybe I’ll even tell you the story of how he used to have little slideshows with diapositives from his adventures. About how he’d bring out that big screen, show us pictures and tell me and my sister stories. He told so many stories. Maybe I’ll even tell you about how we didn’t have room for a Christmas tree one year, but he wouldn’t give up so we hung the tree from the ceiling with a cut off plastic bottle at the bottom for watering it. How he covered said plastic bottle in tin foil to make it “pretty”. Maybe I’ll just take a moment to remember these things today.
Maybe that’s how I honour his memory today. Flowers in my heart and shared stories with my sister.
Because I do care.
But most of all,
I miss him.