Friday, April 20, 2012

Memory is a treacherous b******.

Tonight after dinner we had to make a run to the store. (For the shop not us.)

We got in got what we needed and were out of the store  in about 15 minutes.

Heading home Karl started singing. He doesn't sing very often at least not seriously so I was enjoying his rendition of "Blueberry Hill".

I smiled because my dad loved that song. He didn't sing very often either but he would belt out a bit of "Blueberry Hill" every once in awhile. Usually directed at my mom.

Then I thought about when he was slipping away from us. His breathing laboured as we sat around him. Holding his hands and patting his head. I didn't want him to be scared. I knew he was dying and I wanted to tell him that I loved him.

He wasn't perfect. He was impatient and cranky and sometimes completely unreasonable.  But he was my dad. He took us on picnics and berry picking and to quirky restaurants. He grew roses like some sort of rose savant.

There isn't enough time to say "I love you and you love me and I remember those times and always will." To say "We didn't always agree but none of it matters because you're my dad and you did a damn fine job of being my dad." So many things you can't say because the words are trapped by the tears you are trying not to cry. So little time to hold his hand and pat his head and hope that he's not scared.

So I opened up my mouth and the first thing that could get past the tears was "I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill" It was a little shaky but it helped that Cate and Lora joined in. "On Blueberry Hill, when I found you..."

"The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill and it lingered until my dreams came true.
The wind in the willows played loves sweet melody
But all of those vows we made were never to be
Though we're apart you follow me still
For you were my thrill on Blueberry Hill."

So we talked to him as best we could and held his hand and sang a few songs to him. I think he knew we were there. I think he knew the things we couldn't say, didn't have time to say.

I started crying as Karl sang. I didn't want to cry. I liked the singing. I liked the song. I didn't want it to end.

Things do end though. I try to always remember good things about Dad. To laugh when Chloe sticks her tongue out the side of her mouth when she's concentrating and somehow manages to look just like Grandpa Geo. To remember berry picking and farmer's markets, long, pointless drives into the night and the simple joy of knowing the best and oddest places to eat. I want to be happy when I think of him

 but sometimes, I cry.

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