My life this past week has been a strange mix of tremendous sadness, fond reflection, and detached organization.  This post is a bit scatterbrained, but so am I.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been working at getting things straightened out for the services and getting the legal part of his estate settled.  We settled on having his funeral next Thursday at 4:00 PM in his hometown of Pawhuska.  I spent some time with a lawyer there in town, establishing myself as the overseer of his estate and amassing all of his debts to ensure nothing gets missed.  Mom, Tyler, and I spent Wed-Fri going through Dad’s place; sorting, tossing, and saving things as needed.  When I returned home, I wrote my speech for Dad’s service.  Practiced it.  Went through our picture box and extracted every photo that featured my father.  Today, the three of us went through them, selected the ones we wanted for the presentation, and I assembled it onto a DVD.
Going through his place and his photos weren’t as hard as I expected.  It allowed me to access memories and past times, placing myself there instead of here.  I’ve talked to many people that I hadn’t talked to in years, most expressing condolences and shock.  A lot of interactions are awkward.  What do you say to a son that just lost his father?  How do I go on and pretend my entire life hasn’t just changed?  I hate being the guy that just talks about his sadness and breaks down at random times.  I understand it’s necessary, but I don’t like it.
I created a Facebook account for my father.  It will allow me to post to his wall when I think about him & visit pictures of him any time I want to.  Right now I’m very day-to-day as it is.  I tell myself, “Dad’s busy, I don’t get to talk to him today.” or “I’m just borrowing his car.  He’ll need it back soon.”  I look over at his cowboy hat, and although it’s my size, I know it will always be too big for me.  
I can’t go ten minutes with “The Living Years” or “Cats in the Cradle” trying to pry into my brain and turn on the waterworks.  Sometimes I scream.  I have all of these emotions going through me and am learning how to deal with them on the fly.  But not once have I felt angry.  I have not felt that life is unfair, regardless of how events have turned out.  I am very thankful for the time I spent with my father, and know that my grief takes the place of his peace.  
The last time my Dad called me was on January 5th at 4:13 PM.  We talked for six and a half minutes as I helped him get to my workplace to drop off a copy of the truck’s insurance verification, which had been stolen a few days prior.  I was so angry the truck got broken into.  But, now, those vandals are the source of the last time I saw him.  We talked for maybe two minutes as he dropped that off and a framed picture for mother.  He complained about driving at night.  We hugged and he left.  
I’ve learned a few things about Tony Martin in the last few days.  He loved Altoids.  He spent his nights at home watching old home movies.  He liked James Taylor.  He kept photos of his kids in drawers and on shelves where only he could see them.  He loved working in grocery stores; not just for them but actually IN the store, interacting with people.  He meant a lot to a lot of people.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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