Can’t sleep.
In about nine hours, I drive out of town and to the town where my father was raised.  He helped at his father’s grocery store.  He graduated high school.  He raced cars at the Pawhuska Municipal Airport.  He moved back to care for his ailing mother.  Tomorrow, he completes his journey and we all say farewell.
My apartment is in more disarray than usual.  I’m typically very tidy; not quite a neat freak, but the last week has seen me really slack off on picking up clothes, making my bed, generally straightening up.  I haven’t felt up to it.  I’ve talked to people, told them I’m okay.  I am, really, considering.  What I said the other day is also true.  This is going to be a good year and I have several positive goals in front of me.  But right now I only have one goal.  

Bury my father.

I always thought the scenes in movies where people saw lost loved ones were hokey.  I have visualized my Dad countless times this past week.  In fact, there are several things that have replayed in my mind time and time again this past week.  One of the visuals I have most often is him leaving my apartment.  We would hug, and he would walk uncertainly towards the front yard and his car.  He never wanted to go.  I hear the voice of my uncle on the telephone, regretfully telling me that my father passed away.  The embrace of my mother as she chokes out the words, ‘I’m so sorry’ as I told her Dad was gone.  The tortured anguish that erupted out of my brother as he crumpled to the floor.  It’s all too much.

I feel like I am made entirely out of sadness.  But, as I said before…things will be okay again.  They just aren’t right now.

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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