I’m not in denial. I know my Dad is gone. I know he’s been gone for almost 5 months now. These are all facts. These are all things I know and can admit too. But, sometimes it’s nice to pretend he’s not. Sometimes it’s nice to act like this tragedy never happened.
I hadn’t lived in the same state as my dad for four years when he passed. I saw him over vacations, I had just saw him the previous May. But, I only saw him once a year. I was used to not seeing him. It was normal for me. We talked on the phone a couple times a week, I loved hearing his voice, but I was used to not seeing him face to face. In a way it has made this whole process easier, in a way it has made it harder. It’s harder because it is easier for me to forget he’s gone.
I like to think that he’s home in Connecticut. He’s driving that white jeep he’s been driving since I was in second grade, maybe younger. He’s going to work, he’s cooking for people. He loves cooking. He’s going to stop and shop, getting groceries. Now he’s watching the news, probably laying sideways on the couch with his ashtray in front of him. He’s picking up some lotto tickets, he loves the game, he loves the gamble of maybe winning and maybe not. He’s golfing. He is wearing that white and blue stripped collared shirt, navy blue shorts and New balance shoes. His knees aren’t the best but he still has a strong swing. He’s taking a Sunday trip to the beach. He hardly ever has a day off so he wants to take advantage by spending the day in Rhode Island. He’s sipping on a bud. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drink another kind of beer, ever. Why switch now? He’s on his phone. It’s a Tuesday. He’ll be calling me any minute, like he always does on Tuesday.
How nice would it be if he was back home doing all these mundane, day to day tasks? Then I remember. Today is Tuesday, in fact it’s late on Tuesday and not once did my phone ring. I know it’s not going too. But this is the downside of being used to not seeing him more than once a year for the past four years. It’s too easy for me to push the loss aside. I can pretend, I can play the game I played when he was alive and I was missing him. It’s weird though, how much different missing someone is when you know that they aren’t living their day to day lives like they used to. Even when you’re not talking to the person, you know they’re still there, you know you could call them up if you wanted or needed to. That’s the thing about death, there are no phones for them to call you on, there is no plane for you to get on, they’re just gone.