♥ Dad ♥ (April 7, 1928 - June 26, 2013)

Published by Iris in Memory Lane, R.I.P.,
Published on 07/07/13 at 09:06:54 pm using 559 words.

I see now that the thought of a world without my dad was unfathomable. Prior to his passing, I foolishly believed myself to be prepared. After all, his deteriorating health was impossible to ignore. But death eludes us in the deftest of ways. Death is deft. Death can be understood and accepted in theory only. When it actually comes, it’s as if we’d never been forewarned. We may ponder it at length, we may think we understand that it comes to us all and yet it still manages to pull the rug from under us as though we knew nothing at all, as though we’d never seen it happen to anyone, anywhere.

I was serene (my mother’s word) most of the way. During the hospital stay, hoping for the best and expecting the worst as I’ve always been prone to do. Hearing the news, standing purposefully still and waiting for the emotions to well up. And when they didn’t, asking myself and others “Why the hell am I so calm?”

It only began to hit me on the bus ride to P—. Memories flooding back, and the tears they liquefied into, dutifully overflowing. Places, as usual, doing the trick. Filled to the brim with memories we’re at best poorly able to safeguard.

Entering the empty apartment swung the gates fully open for me. Coming face to face with the body, on the other hand (and much to my surprise), actually brought me a sense of peace. The stillness and the lifelessness, unmistakably indicative of his being elsewhere. Suddenly it was clear to me that his body was but a shell. And not my father as I knew him.

Unlike me, M broke down seeing my dad in his coffin. W lost it being told the news of his passing. V broke down at the very end of the prayer he read at the funeral. And P, upon watching his son break down. Personal Velocity. To each his/her own timing.

This man made a habit of singing me to sleep when I was a child. In his arms while he could handle my weight long enough for me to fall asleep. He would carry me tirelessly… He drove me to school, dance recitals and parties. He helped me religiously with Math and Science homework. He put up with my perfectionist tendencies, my “need” to tear off a page from a notebook at 11:30pm and start an assignment over because of some imperceptible smudge on the page. He bought me a pair of ice skates. He taught me to always put myself first. Not in a selfish way but so that I would never allow myself to be taken advantage of. He loved to make people laugh and did it well. Three years ago, still frail while recovering from quadruple bypass surgery at my uncle’s, he made us laugh out loud with his perfect comic timing. My uncle took a nasty trip walking into the room and we froze for the seconds it took him to find his balance. And my dad punctuated our collective concern-then-relief with a dead pan “That, even I can do…”

Around him, laugh-out-loud moments were never few and far between.

Paizinho, até mais logo… ♥♥♥♥♥

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