A rare mid-week post for me. I’m usually way too tired or too busy for posts during the week. Hell I can barely get one out on the weekend. But today is different. Today, March 1st, is one year gone.
When I was a kid I remember contemplating death and how that would be when someone I knew passed away. When my grandmother, my mom’s mom, died I think I was 11 or 12. I remember thinking what my mother must be going through. But she was older, in her 50s, so it couldn’t be that bad. I mean fear and all that was supposed to go away when you’re an adult.
So I figured if I could make it to 30 before my parents died I wouldn’t be afraid. I might still be sad but I could survive sad. It was the fear that gripped me. For some reason or another I got it in my head that 30 years of age was the line of demarcation. No clue why, other than I was 12 and that seemed like a long way off. But yeah, make it to 30 and life without my parents won’t be so scary.
Well I was lucky. I was 47 1/2 when my father died last year. A year ago today as a matter of fact. And my mom is still a spry 82. So I’m doubly lucky in that regard. But I was wrong in another.
Apparently there is no age a person can reach, no level of maturity, no amount of worldly experience that can assuage the fear of losing a parent. The sadness is strong as I figured it would be. But the fear of it all is there too. Fear of what? I don’t know. I guess if I did know I wouldn’t be afraid of it. What’s the old saying, I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m afraid of what’s in it.
But there was one thing I never counted on when I was morbidly calculating all this way back when I was 12. Memories. It never dawned on me how vivid my memories of my father would become. Even more remarkable, the farther along I get from the day he died the more vivid the memories become and the more impact they have on me.
When I was young I would fight tears, fight them hard. Now, as a softened 48 year old retiree with two kids, a good plot from Doc McStuffins can send me over the edge. So even though these vivid memories get the waterworks started, it’s good. It’s good. As it turns out this particular weirdness runs in the family.
Frank has been doing some mortal calculations on his own. He has figured out that when he’s 20 years old I’ll turn 62 a few months later. I know what he’s doing. What I don’t know is what age has he picked out as his line of demarcation. What age has he figured it will be safe for him to deal with my passing. I won’t ask him and I won’t tell him it’s folly.
That’s for his own piece piece of mind right now. And I’m absolutely not going to attempt to reassure him. The minute I tell Frank not to worry cause I’ll be around for a long time, I’ll drop deader than a hammer the next day. That’s an absolute, like the firmness of the earth.
Not much I can do about it anyway besides get regular check ups and eat better (working on it), and give up diet coke (done, yes I have gone cold turkey on that magic elixir).
Most of all, be sure he has memories. Just like my dad did for me.