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.