Friday, August 06, 2010

Dear Dad, summer 2010

Dear Dad,

It's now been over a year since we lost you.

I always think it's odd to say lost, since for me it conjures up visions of things misplaced - keys, sunglasses, umbrellas - and sometimes found in random places. Or returned to you by others.

But in my mind, it involves some careless action on one's part, the losing. And we tried very hard not to let you go.

I don't know where this picture was taken - India? Egypt? - but it is so very you. You loved the water, loved the beach. And some piece of you always walked alone.

You were so gregarious, such an extrovert. You loved people. You were so charismatic; people were drawn to you.

You had so many friends, but at core, I think you kept yourself alone.

So it's been over a year since you left.

Nick and Phil brought the sailboat over to DC. It now has an engine that works, as well as a functional navigation system. And they both know how to read nautical maps.

In other words, their journey was a lot longer but a lot safer than when you and Nick brought the damn boat across the bay.

I still think about how lucky you were that the boat didn't catch fire and sink. While you were in the middle of the shipping lane.

I bring up the boat because one of these weekends when it cools down, when it's beautiful out - perhaps early fall - we'll take your ashes out and set them free.

I've been reading a little about scattering ashes. Or cremains - turns out Angel at the funeral home didn't make up that bizarro word.

When I think back to last spring and summer, they just seem surreal.

The aftermath of your death was seemingly endless. It took months for the DC coroner to determine the cause of death. I wanted to scream, "How can it matter? He's dead!" I wanted to stab someone for dragging it out, keeping us from wrapping up the administrative pieces. Keeping us from beginning to heal.

Sometimes I cannot believe we lived through all that.

I know you didn't intend it. But Virginia would've been a lot easier. DC is run by incompetent idiots.

Anyway, Dad. I still miss you so much. There are so many moments where I see Jordan doing new things and I know how much you two would enjoy each other. You would love my boy like crazy.

And you'd be so proud of what we've done with our house. It was terrible when we started, and now it's lovely, or pieces of it, anyway. We have you to thank for it. So, thank you.

I love you and I miss you.



  1. Heartbreaking. Big hugs to you. xoxo

  2. A beautiful, loving message to your Dad...the photo says so much too in its simplicity and soft colors. I wish your Dad was still physically here for you and your family. Big hug to you Lisa

  3. Wendy - Thank you. Hugs back.

    HKW - I really like this photo. And it is so very much my dad. Hugs to you, Heather.

  4. Of course, hugs. As many as you can stand. And it's wonderful that you can look at the way things are, as you do.

    More hugs.

  5. What a lovely picture - so introspective. I'm so glad you made it through the first year, and hopefully the pain has lessened somewhat.

  6. I love that photo of your father. It seems very representative of the man you've shown us.


  7. Oh hunny bunny. One day we are going to meet in person and hug it all out but for now I will just send virtual *hugs*

  8. What a lovely letter and wonderful picture of your dad - I know he's proud of you....hugs!

  9. very moving Lisa. the picture is really touching and your words so very powerful - MPD

  10. Lisa...what a great letter to your Dad. He is smiling from above.

  11. Wishes of strength and peace. Hugs.

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Beautiful words and picture, Lisa.

  13. Dagny - Thank you. Hugs back to you.

    Susan H - It's better. Much better. Time is a crazy thing.

    Lisa - It's a lonesome photo, isn't it?

    Hillary - Yes, we will. We definitely will. Thank you.

    Kate - I hope so! Thank you.

    MPD - Thank you - I appreciate it.

    A.S. - Oh, hugs to you.

    Chris - Hey! I appreciate that. You knew him, and I really appreciate it.

    J. - Thank you.

    Go-Betty - Thank you. Hugs to you.

    kayare - Thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

  14. I hit the 24 year mark on August 3rd. It never does go away, never will (I still mist up at the mention of his passing, even writing this has my eyes burning). But, as each year passes, the ache is diminished, ever so slightly.

    Much love to you and Betty. He was a lucky man to have been so very loved. We should all have that.

  15. Lovely post and photo. Big hug.

  16. Your perspective and poignant words reflect how well you're dealing with a situation that is simply beyond description in terms of its ability to impact your world and redefine your view of healing and how we must move forward in spite of it all.

    When my father passed away, 12 summers ago now, it was an extreme shock. He'd never tried it before, but succeeded when he focused on removing himself from this life by drinking himself away.

    The part I'm still trying to get over is why he didn't share with me the depths of his despair, because I am certain (with the ego of an only child) that I could have helped in some way. I'm sure of it.

    But I didn't get a chance, for reasons I won't know until he and I meet once again for a loooong chat.

    Love your baby, love your hubby, love your Mom, and know that the best of your father is in you, lady. You can share that and live that and embrace that.

    Huge hug to you.


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