Friday, April 27, 2007

A Little Like Peggy Lee

Look, I'm here, after a month of not-posting. My last little frivolous post was all about my excitement over buying some cute Easter-themed paper plates & napkins at Target. As it happened, I never even got to bust out those supplies, because Easter was hosted by my aunt this year, instead. My dad was in the hospital at the time of the holiday, and no one, especially my mother, felt like driving 80 miles away to my house for ham and chocolate.

So -- well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just lay it out plainly -- my dad passed away, two weeks ago today. About two weeks and two hours ago, as I write this. It was painful and terrible -- for all involved, but especially him, and so there we were, mouthing all those cliches at the end, that turned out to be true: "he's not in pain anymore," "he's at peace," etc.

As for me -- his favorite (really, I can say that now without feeling guilty, right?), his eulogy speech writer & deliverer -- I'm left sort of numb and reeling, and feeling a little like Peggy Lee: "Is that all there is to your daddy dying?" Let's break out the booze and have a ball. Well, I could go for the first part at least, and my dad would approve, too.

I feel it coming, the pain and disbelief, like storm clouds gathering on the horizon (cliches, again!), but for now -- Eh. Sometimes I walk through the house late at night, after the lights are out, and this very surreal feeling slices through me and makes me feel like I'm breathing in the atmosphere of some entirely new planet -- a planet that does not find my father walking and talking upon it -- but then it passes, and I go to bed and lie there and replay again some of the events at the hospital, and I think for some reason of the lines from Shakespeare's The Tempest, "Full fathom five my father lies, what once were blah blah pearls that were his eyes blah blah...." Although really, my father doesn't lie anywhere now except in a pile of dust, collected into a very handsome wooden box, on his own bookshelf, amongst his beloved books on the photography & history of the West. (Someday in the future we'll take him out to the desert and deliver him to the wind and big sky of his favorite landscape.)

Well, anyway. That is where I have been, lo these many weeks since my last gushings on the cuteness of blue bunny rabbits. But regardless, spring is truly here, and April is the cruelest month and all, but I don't find it terrible, those roses bursting open in the backyard, those bees drunk on the waving lavender. It's just -- life, as usual, going on, as it tends to do.