As I hope you know, out there somewhere, I’ve tried to keep doing something for you every year since you died.
This year, my Dad project is migrating all the past dad-related blog posts into the database behind my current blog. I’ve been tagging and making them visible all morning. There are still some things to be done, like adding the year into the post and salvaging comments and fixing dead links, but I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and this is a start. There was a while after you died where I resented myself more and more each day, like I had some sort of control over the fact that the further I moved into the future, the longer it had been longer since I saw or talked to you, like I was betraying you somehow by continuing to exist here on earth while you didn’t. Did you ever get onto a moving walkway at the airport and immediately regret it? Whatever the reason, you can’t get off because you’re stuck between mobs of strangers forcing you to move with the crowd, in their direction, at their pace. Life was like that, has been like that, and old blog posts are one way for me to go back and be a little closer to you.
I hope you saw that the wedding didn’t totally suck. We all missed you and I cried myself to sleep nights before, but the big day was a happy one and I think everyone did a good job of remembering you without letting your absence ruin the good things we could celebrate as a family. I was so sad at Christmas after you died; I remember going to all the traditional family functions, seeing my cousins all there with their parents, and feeling like we didn’t quite belong anymore. As though Pete and I were two apples rotting in the grass under the family tree, becoming less a part of the tree with every passing moment. Not the tree’s fault, of course, just physics and chemistry — unstoppable science. I couldn’t say anything then because I knew that if there was anything my family could do to graft us back into the tree, they would do it, and talking about how I felt would only make them feel like they were failing at the impossible. I just — in that day, I didn’t feel like much could be done to preserve what was normal to us. That was the best thing about the wedding — that my people were all there and they’re still my people, despite everything we’ve all been through.
The luna moth is still a mystery to me. Some people think it was your doing — was it? The gardens staff said it was quite uncommon; it is rather poetic that the aisle you should’ve walked me down gave birth —at the moment we arrived— to a creature whose lifespan is exactly long enough to reproduce. I’ve never done particularly well with people telling me where you are or aren’t — it’s just too vulnerable/personal for me to go there — but I’m glad my aunt got a picture of the moth because it is a good symbol and makes me happy to think about.
I still miss you so much, but life has gotten a lot better from the things I used to write about in the posts I restored today. E and I are happy, getting ready for our Nova Scotia trip in August. I think E will be the next honorary Cape Bretoner (and if we see that shirt I’m buying it for him) because the trip was all his idea, so Grandpa could go home again. He’s so much like you that way; I hate that you never got to meet each other.
Here is something else you will like: today is Sunday so we’re going to Skype with E’s family and then bust out some snacks and watch Ese Hombre Es Mio all together over the webcam. Not that you would like EHEM per se, but I know you would like the scheduled family time despite the distance. Especially on Sundays.
I hope you’re having a good day, wherever you are, whatever a day even means in your world. I love you.