If properly tended to, the wound does heal, but the scar remains. This, in memory of my Dad…after 36 years.
This rather nondescript grave marks the resting place of a great man.
He loved to take family road trips, & wanted to be buried near the road. So here I am at the cemetery listening to the traffic roar by. Dad loved the open road, & so do I.
My mom never took me here as a kid. Maybe it’s because she believes, like I do, that he is not here…his spirit is anywhere & everywhere. Or, maybe it was just too painful for her.
I first started visiting him here when I turned 40, needed to finally grieve, & make peace with him & his passing. For that purpose, the knowledge that some tangible part of him is still here, historically engraved, is not to be underestimated. Being here also reminds me of his penchant for exploring graveyards, in whatever new town we visited. A true Irishman & lover of that particular facet of a place’s social & cultural roots.
Furthermore, he regaled me with stories of his childhood & younger years; he taught me my prayers & the Greek alphabet; he helped name my cat “Hildegard” & my Teddy bear “Horatio” (how cool is that?). Best of all, he did all this as he cuddled me, “traced my face” with his fingers (often sticking them up my nose to make me laugh), rocking in that old wicker rocker of my grandma’s as we listened to the train whistle in the distance. This rocking-chair-ritual was a treasured nightly event. It is the time & attention that is given to us by one another that is what is most remembered & cherished. Especially from a father to a daughter.
Thank you Dad for giving me so much in the 8 short years I had with you.