As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, our family has a…tradition?–yes, I guess it’s a tradition–of going on evening drives with the kids in order to get them to fall asleep. We’ve been getting diminishing returns. Last week we went on one where by the time we pulled back into the driveway, both of the little assholes were wide awake. I still had to read them a bedtime story. My wife Evi and I were both like, what’s the point?
So while we’ve been doing that less frequently, last night we gave it another shot. SUCCESS! Norah went out pretty quickly, and about ten minutes later, Sasha followed. It’s not just about knocking the girls out, by the way. It’s also a time for Evi and I to connect. We hold hands and really talk. Except, she fell asleep too. I was about fifteen minutes from home, and had three snoozing girls. I guess I had no choice but to think to myself.
Right about this time, I passed an assisted living facility. At that instant, my first thought was, I’ve GOT to convince Dad to move into one of those. Of course, another instant later, I remember I already attended his funeral nearly two years ago. This happens almost every time I pass one of those facilities. For a nanosecond, I forget he’s gone.
I think it’s nuts how the human brain works, or in this case, how it doesn’t work. For the very briefest of instants, my dad is still alive. My mind wiped away that I held his hand as they turned off the ventilator, that I kissed his forehead right before leaving the ICU, that I accepted the American flag on his behalf, and that we’ve refinanced the house, bought my sister out, and completely remodeled it, leaving almost no trace of the hoarder that used to live here.
Then BAM! Oh, that’s right. He’s dead already.
That doesn’t happen with my mom for some reason. Maybe because she’s been gone for over seven years now. Or perhaps I still have some unresolved issues with my father. My mom lived a very happy, complete life. It hurts that her story is over, but at least I know she found the fulfilment she was looking for. My dad never found shit. He spent the last twenty years of his life pretty miserable; especially so after Mom was gone. There was no talking him out of that misery.
Anyway, I didn’t lack for a subject to think about for the following fifteen minutes, as I steered the van for home.
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