Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hold Up, July!

I have no idea where July is in such a hurry to get to, but I feel like the month is just slipping through my fingers. On the other hand, it feels like eons since we were on the boat with B's family celebrating the 4th of July. That was a whole move ago!

Today I'm feeling a little sad. Not sure if it's the knowledge that the 19th is creeping up on me again (will I always feel like that?), or the fact that it's a rainy summer day.

I have so many things in my life to be thankful for: concentrated time with my Birmingham friends over the next month, a mini reunion of my high school girls in a month, a holiday trip confirmed with B's family, a post-work party for a coworker, date night with B at our favorite Mexican dive tonight, a trip to the lake with his high school friends this weekend.... I need to try to remember that.

I'm lucky-- B is super understanding, even getting my unspoken clues these days. I told him on Sunday that church made me sad; it was my first time back in that church since we had Dad's funeral there. He laughed and told me he'd figured that, then imitated my pursed lip look that I kept plastered on my face for most of the sermon. "I kept looking around to figure out what was annoying you and I couldn't figure it out," he said. I told him it bugged me to see the communion table where I'd last seen Dad('s body). Too much symbolism. Too much irony, even for me.

I keep trying to remember things about Dad, little things that I'll forget. This weekend I swiped some of his CDs to copy. He loved blue grass, old country, and rousing gospel. Loved. Still hurts to type that.

Mom and Dad were always on the go in Florence, Mom keeping everything running and Dad making his way to the golf course, to one of the offices where he worked, or on his (I kid you not) daily trips to Wal-Mart. So most of the time I'd call Mom on her cell, then hang up and call Dad. I haven't dialed him yet, but I definitely get the finger itch to try.

This weekend, while we were in Florence, I had wanted to go see Dad's grave, just to spend a few minutes talking to him, but every time we went out or were coming home, tremendous rain poured down and I wondered if it wasn't God nudging me as if to say, you can always talk to him. Sitting on that specific plot of sod doesn't make a difference.

I thought today about giving in to the number 19. My wedding ring has our wedding date on it, and Dad's big thing with me was jewelry, so why couldn't I get something engraved with 19? Then I realized how terrible that would be, to remember Dad only by the date of his death. How do you remember loved ones? By their birthdays, instead? Still learning.

There are so many wishes that I have... that I'd fixed his radio when the face had somehow been set to "night," that I'd spent time with him the morning of the wedding just sitting, that I'd told him how great he looked in his tux (because he would've LOVED that), that I'd made sure he knew how much I loved every bit and piece of the wedding...

There are so many things that I'm thankful for... that he walked me down the aisle, that we had a real conversation about the our father/daughter dance and what he wanted, that I'd gotten his cell phone replaced when his old one kept losing power, that I'd listened when he told me how his typing tutorial was going ("How many words a minute can you type? I'm up to eight.", that B had asked his permission to propose, that the two of them shared that secret for two months over last summer...

Some things still hurt. I went onto Amazon to purchase something and realized that Dad's Father's Day present was still sitting in my shopping cart, where I'd placed in back in April. I left it, and my other purchases that day, there, just as I'd found them.

Today, I'm thankful for B, for my friends, for a warm work environment, for the promise of grace and peace and understanding, and for the knowledge that I'll see Dad again, someday. For now, I miss him and pray that he somehow hears me and knows.

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