by a.b.

This past weekend marked the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing. It’s hard to think he’s been gone for ten years; he died one week after I turned 18 from terminal lung cancer. After the doctor’s told him they’d need to “go exploring” to find out why he was getting so much worse, he decided he just wanted to go home and spend his last weekend with his family. I spent every moment of that weekend with him, pulled a sleeping bag up next to his hospital bed when he was about to go to sleep, so that he wouldn’t have to let go of my hand; I didn’t want him to be alone. When he finally settled into some peaceful breathing, he took one, last deep breath, and I realized I didn’t want me to be alone.

My father was a centripetal force in my life. He brought life to the people around him, something I wish I’d inherited. He was an entrepreneur, but wasn’t very good with money. I remember he turned a $25,000 line of credit into a multi-million dollar development business that collapsed in the construction death of the early 90s. When he knew he had cancer, he sat me down in the kitchen and explained real estate to me. It must have been his way of whispering “Plastics.”

The double whammy is I’m approaching thirty and thinking about children. My children, won’t know their grandfather, no more than my husband knew his father-in-law. The only comfort is knowing that my stepdad will make a wonderful, jovial grandpa. I just still miss my dad.

So my weekend culminated with an excellent, heaving cry in the shower (for some reason I found it comforting), and now my dog won’t let me go in the bathroom by myself. It’s a little disconcerting. My friends have taken such wonderful care of me, and I’m finally coming out of it. When my Dad passed, he said, “No funeral for me. Take my friends to a bar, put my credit card out and buy all my friends a round on me.” Tomorrow, I might write about the financial repercussions that come from losing a parent when your young. Tonight, I’m going to go have a round of rememberance.