Monday, March 10, 2008

One Year

In a few short hours it will be one year since my dad died. Remembering the aching slowness of the first few weeks following his passing, it seems amazing that the remainder could fly by so quickly.

We’ve survived our first Thanksgiving, our first Christmas and now we will live through the first anniversary. None has been pleasant for there has always been a ghost among us. One who may haunt each of us for the rest of our lives. For the dead-but-loved never really leave us. They stay deep inside of us, a chronic ache that adds poignancy to our experiences.

A few weeks ago, I was driving up to my mom’s home. I was driving my dad’s old white Honda Accord; part of my inheritance and a frequent reminder. It was a warm, sunny afternoon and I had the window rolled down. It was about the time my dad used to come home from work.

As I rolled up San Luis Avenue near her home, I espied my mother taking her daily stroll around her neighborhood. I tapped the horn twice ('beep beep') and called out 'Hi!' My mother looked up and saw the car and froze. She started to tremble. "Why it’s... it’s... It’s been so long! I’m so glad to see you!" And then she sort of shook her head and stared at me and she started to cry. She was still crying several minutes later after she finished her walk and we met back at her home.

No, those we love, those we need and cherish, never really leave us. They are there, right inside.