Dad in my Heart

My chiropractor is simply wonderful. She’s thoughtful and smart. She’s the woman who fixed my neck within seconds of our first meeting, after I endured two years of migraines and trying out all sorts of experts who couldn’t do it. I will always be grateful. Like me, she lost her Dad recently, so she knows how it feels. 

When I saw her last Friday and she asked how I was doing with regard to my Dad, I thought I had it figured out.

“Well, Saturday is his birthday, and that also marks a month since he died. And then there’s Father’s Day. I figure it will get a little easier after we get past those firsts.”

“No it won’t”, she said firmly, which surprised me. I thought I had a plan. Get through a couple of major milestones and then it will start to get better.  “I lost my Mom nine years ago and I’ll tell you, Mother’s Day isn’t any easier. It’s all anybody talks about for weeks and maybe I cry a little less each year, but it’s still hard.”

Huh. Well then. So much for best laid grief plans. Truth and directness are my preferred methods of communication so I respected her candor.

I hold in my fingers a small, black slate box with a gold tree on it and the words Jack Hubbs 1935-2017

The small slate urn that holds some of my Dad’s ashes

Truly though, there’s no way to tell how hard or how easy it will be. It’s different for everyone. I’ll cry when I want to cry and try to bring myself back to being grateful for having a Dad at all. And I’ll return to the wisdom of Francis Weller and his book The Wild Edge of Sorrow: the relationship isn’t over, it’s just different now. I can call up my Dad anytime I want to, in my memory and where he now resides, in my heart.

 

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The transition from pain and sorrow to memories is a slow journey and the further away you get the easier it becomes. But then when you least expect it, a memory will retrigger the sorrow from time to time throughout your life. My father died 33 years ago and my memories of him an image of him occasionally filter into my mind, such as writing this response. For your Father’s memories aren’t only in your mind, but in your heart and your heart does things its own way.

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He is not with you, he is within you. And always will be. Wishing you strength on Father’s Day (and the dreadful lead up). You’ll be in my thoughts.

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