Six Months Later

I went to work yesterday like normal.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s been dreadfully hot in the heartland and I’ve had a real focus on getting from air-conditioned-place to air-conditioned-place as quickly as possible.  I got to work, booted up my computer, and looked over at a picture on my desk.  Since Christmas, I’ve had a picture of my family right next to my desk phone.  It’s probably my favorite picture of the four of us together.  For no real reason that I was aware of, the picture of my father made me tear up and I had to quickly busy myself with work stuff.  I told a friend of mine about it and she asked if any important dates were coming up.  After thinking for a minute, I realized that today, July 18th, marks six months since The Call.

As I’ve mentioned before, it simultaneously feels like it’s been years and like this all happened yesterday.  I’ve also noticed that Dad’s voice in my head is now at a lower volume than it used to be.  I know the day will come eventually when I will have to struggle to truly hear him.  It breaks my heart, but that’s life.  About a week ago, I took his picture down from the shelf and cried while holding it.  I thought that only happened in the movies.  Guess not.  Aside from that moment, it’s been a good month since I’ve had any kind of emotional breakdown over this.  I’ve been more focused on finalizing my divorce.

Dad’s contact is still in my phone.  Every time I scroll by it, I think about removing it…and decide not to.  It’s not like I need the space in my phone.  And there’s a tiny bit of comfort having it in there; I remember when I could call him and it reminds me to still talk to him.  I just don’t have to press ‘Talk’ anymore.  I still think about him all the time.  It’s almost annoying.  I relive the same memories over and over again.  I remember how sad he was the last few years of his life.  I don’t feel regret.  Just sadness.

I finally ordered a custom plate for Dad’s Mustang.  I’ve wanted to for as long as I’ve had it.  I thought about a lot of things, and finally settled on something that meant a lot to both of us.  Dad’s favorite actor was John Wayne.  When I was little, I’d watch movies with him all the time…but I couldn’t pronounce John Wayne.  The closest I got was ‘jah vee, daddy!’  So that’s what I got.  Jah Vee.  People will ask and it will give me the opportunity to share.

Miss you Dad.  I know it’ll be okay.  I just wish it was already.

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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