Tomorrow is April.  It’s my 30th birthday month.  I’m not overly concerned with thirty years; just another year, really.  I am happy at my job.  I love my family.  I have many wonderful friends.  I love the house I live in.  So much has gone my way in the last year, though as anyone is aware I’ve had a lot to struggle with as well.  It’s occurred to me several times that I won’t be getting a certain phone call this year.

Today I woke up to a call from the lawyer.  Evidently a collections agency has been blowing up his office with calls to settle Dad’s biggest debt.  I took the reigns and called them to get things taken care of.  The last year of Dad’s life was spent living on one of his credit cards, as he didn’t have much income coming in.  The lady on the other end of the phone expressed her cardboard condolences and we set to haggling.  I was able to talk her down a quarter of the debt owed and took it.  After all, it was all true debt.  Dad paid for our last meal together on that card.  I gave the lady the appropriate information and washed my hands of it.
My second task today was to head to the IRS office over off of Highway 169 to get the particulars on the taxes Dad owed for 2009.  I’d never been there before, and I was surprised at how high security the office was.  Guard kiosks, metal detectors, the whole nine yards.  The whole process there was much easier than I expected, as I walked out with the information I needed in about twenty minutes.  Once again, a stranger offered their half-hearted condolences as I wrapped up.  They didn’t know my father.  The don’t know me.  I remember being irked that a coworker of Dad’s was so callous when I was returning some of his work supplies, days after his passing.  Now it seems I’ve turned a corner, and strangers offering condolences just make me sigh.
Every day brings the final date of closure a bit closer.  I have held onto the administration duties as a duty to my father’s memory and have carried out what needs to be done with respect and patience.  Once it’s over, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  Maybe I’ll be just fine.  Maybe I’ll try to find something to fill that void of responsibility.  I’ll be relieved that it’s over.  I’ll also wish I had something else I could do for Dad.
When my brother and I get together, he’s all we talk about.  The good memories, the stories we’ve heard a hundred times.  There is plenty of laughter.  I still have other people that ask how I’m doing once in awhile.  I’m doing well most of the time, and certainly I’m doing well at work.  It’s not the place for such things.  It’s still in the emptiness of home when I am abducted by sorrow.  I miss him so much.  And it sucks that new people in my life will never get a chance to meet him.  

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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