formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Hate This Day...

It’s December 10th. I hate this day. I think I’ll probably hate it forever, though I don’t want to. I know it’s just a date on a calendar, really, and should be no better or worse than any other. And every year I think, maybe this year it won’t hurt so much. Maybe this year I’ll forget to hate this day. But it hasn’t happened yet. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a hundred and eleven years from now, I’ll still hate it.

Last year I explained why and those of you who have been around a while might have read that post. I’ve copied it here, as I’m not sure there’s more I can say. And honestly? Nothing has changed…

Just Do It ‘til You Fart (Orginally posted December 9, 2008)

When I was a teenager, my dad asked me to help him loosen a bolt from a pipe (my brothers weren’t home, so DIY assistance fell to me). My job was basically to provide resistance – to hold the pipe still as he used a massive wrench to loosen the bolt. Sounds easy, right? Nope… that bolt was stuck tight. I was holding the pipe as steady as I could but I wasn’t strong enough to counter his… wrenching. My dad looked at me with a rather exasperated expression and said, “Diane, just do it ‘til you fart.” Well, I burst out laughing and lost my grip on the pipe just as my dad gave it a good yank, and it shot up and damn-near broke my cheekbone.

That was my dad… he was a ‘do it ‘til you fart’ sort of person. Whatever he did, he gave it his all. And that included loving me. I could always trust that no matter how I failed; no matter what asinine thing I did; no matter what – he would love me; he would accept me (I know all parents are supposed to do that, but I also know that not all do). He was not a perfect man and sometimes he infuriated and confounded and even disappointed me, but he was still my hero. He taught me to think for myself – something I’m sure he kicked himself in the ass for at times, as from 15 on, I rarely agreed with him about anything… but I think, deep down, he was proud, too; proud that I stood up for what I thought was right, even if he thought I was wrong.

My father’s death was devastating. I knew it was coming, but knowing something and believing it are two different things. Knowing certainly didn’t make it easier to accept or handle. That I didn’t make it home in time compounded the difficulty. I was already so angry and hurt and lost and sad, but still, the part of me that likes to torture myself when I mess up had to throw some guilt on top of the emotional crap heap already smothering me. It didn’t matter that I knew in my head my dad understood why I wasn’t there; that he knew I loved him. My heart was ripped apart with grief and guilt, and it ruled my psyche for a long time after his death.

The day after he died, I sat down at his desk and started writing – logging memories frantically, terrified they would all disappear because I couldn’t see his face or hear his voice anymore. The unintentional result of my scribbling was my father’s eulogy. No one in my family thought I’d actually be able to deliver it. Hell, even I didn’t think so. I was a mess. But as I stood, all alone, in a little room next to the chapel at the funeral home, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace settle around me… in me. I believe it was my dad giving me what I needed at that moment… and I understood that it had to be me who spoke at his service; that no one else could say my words. Having me deliver the eulogy was what he would have wanted… and what I needed. It was my way to say good-bye; to honor my father in a way he would have loved. So I did it. I stood up in front of everyone, with dry eyes and a clear voice, and I told them about my hero; I showed them my dad through my eyes; through my words. I made them laugh… and cry… and I know I made him proud.

That was ten years ago. Lord, how time flies. It feels like his funeral was just last December. I didn't think I’d make it through that first year... and I’m not entirely sure how I did. It was likely because I had a new baby to take care of… and because I still felt my dad around me; I really believed he was still there. I was also sure it would get easier with time. I suppose it has. I don’t cry every day now… but I still cry. There’s still a hole in my heart… in my life… in my whole world… where my dad used to be, and time and my memories simply aren’t big enough to fill it. It gapes, wide and dark, and sometimes – the times when I want so desperately to tell him something or when I need to lean on him – that darkness just about swallows me whole.

And I don’t feel him anymore.

And that might be the worst thing of all.

I just miss him like hell.

My dad…

June 26, 1937 – December 10, 1998

16 comments:

Protege said...

Ah Diane, I am so sorry...
Some pain will never go away. If it is any consolation, it is a proof of the incredible capability with which you can love.
Pain, sorrow, happiness and laughter are all a part of our life and keep it in a certain kind of balance.
xoxo
Zuzana

Michelle said...

Damn.

That's all

xxx

Pauline said...

I don't think grieving is something we can measure or contain. It is something we should embrace, a rite of passage we need to go through, a process we should not feel guilty about. My dad has been gone for 33 years and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or miss him. My mom has been gone 27 years and I still hear her voice in my head. Time rubs away grief's sharp corners, polishes it until it shines, and in that brightness we can see the reflections of those we loved best.

Greenfingers said...

You certainly touched me with your writing here Diane. Beautifully said. I'm sure that he's so proud of his daughter.

Shanna said...

I can only imagine how proud he was of you then, and would still be today.

Kati said...

And yet, despite the hole in your heart, today you will love your daughter, laugh and give life you all, just like your dad.

f1trey said...

It sounds very cliche...... but.... when I think think back on relationships that are no longer here. I always i do my best to remember the GOOOD things and not the loss.......

Sam_I_am said...

*hugs*

blognut said...

I'm sorry this is such a hard day for you. I have no doubt at all that your dad is with you today.

Love you.

SSP said...

wahhhhhh. I am so sorry and sad for you today and hope you have the comfort of faith (which I lack). your dad sounds just like mine...he too kicks himself for encouraging me to be so independent....and ya know, I won't ever forget the day he dies either. I want a t-shirt that says DO IT TIL YOU FART!!! {{{HUGS}}}

Mr. Knucklehead said...

What a nice tribute. He'll always be in your heart, Diane, and ultimately, that's all anyone can hope for.

Jenners said...

I remember reading this last year and feeling bad for you. But now, this year, having lost my own dad in August, I'm really feeling it. I think I'm still in a state of denial. Some nights when I think about him being gone, it comes to me like a shock ... like I'm circling around a big, giant black hole that I can't admit is really there until I teeter on the edge of it. It is "easy" for me to pretend he isn't here because we didn't live close geographically for a long time. But every day that goes by, I feel his loss settle in more. I just can't really look in the face yet. And now I know it never gets any easier. Sending you hugs.

Sometimes Sophia said...

Sorry, Diane, for your pain and loss. Consider yourself lucky to have such wonderful memories. Many people haven't had such a joyful, supportive presence in their dad.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm a day late with my sympathy, but I wanted to say something anyway. What, I have no idea. There's nothing I can say that can possibly help. If I was there I'd just give you a hug... since I'm not, I trust you'll tell me if there's (ever) anything I can do.

She said...

Oh, Hon! I get this. I do. It's a "loss that is forever," and that hurts like hell.

I love you!

Marla said...

Yep, Diane, that pretty much says it all. It's beautifully written and truly expresses a lot of where I am also with my dad's death. My mom has been gone 8 years next month and I am still mad she left me.

If you get a chance or inkling to go back and read my blog from the beginning, you'll see it all started with my dad.

Thanks for leading me here, Diane. It helped.