Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A note from Dad

"To those I love and who love me, try not to grieve overlong. Remember that I live in you and through you. I have loved the world much more than I have not, and I have loved you most of all and always. No matter how the world goes, never lose or give up your determination to love as much of it and as many people as you can, and let my part of that love that resides in you reside forever.

I apologize for leaving you. I wanted to stay with you longer, much longer. But all is well with me and truly, all will be well with you. Now and then look up and you will feel my spirit in the blue or storm of the sky and among the stars, the door to the place we all came from and to which we shall return. In your moments of calm you will learn to feel yourself in my arms and in due time glimpse the peace and understanding that await you and in which I now live.

Thank you for being in my life. No other man has been as fortunate as I have been. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you."

-March 1, 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A door in my heart

I don't have a ton of time to explain this right now, but I wanted to mark the day somehow, and I'll write more later.

I feel better.  Something happened yesterday; something cracked open in me.  I found my father.  I think he's been there the whole time, just waiting for me to see him.  That's why I thought he was coming back.  Spring is coming, the world is new, and I've found the door to the place where my father lives now.  Everything he is, everything he was, all the love he gave me and everything I gave to him - it's all still there.  Maybe the only way we could be together again was for him to be released from his body.  I've been so upset about that old broken body - what happened to it, where is it, will I ever know, etc. - but my father wasn't his body.  His love for me wasn't contained in any vessel.  Yes, I want to see him, feel him, hear him again, but I have to let go of that.  I think he wants me to move on and find him where he is now.  Finally, I think I'm ready to do that.  All I have to do is open my hands.  Just let go.

So many times lately, I feel like I'm being led somewhere with my eyes squeezed shut, holding my breath, just feeling my way, stumbling a little, someone tugging me gently forward.  I stand there with my eyes closed, still thinking about the place I was before, and then I open my eyes and I'm standing in a new world and I've been there all along, afraid to look around.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My neighbors think I'm crazy

Sometimes a cheesy pop song speaks to you like nothing else.  Certain people who care about me have threatened to cart me off to the loony bin this week because I've gone on about how I'm on the verge of tapping into another dimension and finding my father.  I may have had a little bit to drink when I said that - but I also sort of believe it.  My neighbors may not think I'm crazy, but my family sure does.  Driven mad by grief I guess. What can I say? Just love me.

I know you're somewhere out there
somewhere far away
I want you back
I want you back

At night when the stars
light up my room
I sit by myself
talking to the moon
trying to get to you
In hopes you're on
the other side
talking to me too

Do you ever hear me calling?

I know you're somewhere out there
somewhere far away

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ghost Dreams

Last night I dreamed I got an email from my father.  He thanked me for the note I sent him and asked me to send more pictures of the girls.  It was written in his familiar tone of studied lightheartedness so I knew it really was from him.  In the dream, I knew he was dead and I was ecstatic to realize that he was alive - did he come back somehow, or had he never really died?  I didn't know; I didn't care.  I was filled with joy.  I always knew he couldn't be dead; it had all been a big misunderstanding.  (That's how I feel when I'm awake too.)  Finally, this nightmare was over.  Dad was back.

When I woke up, I didn't remember the dream right away.  I was preoccupied with my sore muscles - running, yoga, and kickboxing every single day for a week will do that to you.  I stretched and slowly climbed out of bed, wincing.  Only after I'd padded gingerly into the bathroom did it come to me in a flash - my father was alive!  Excitement coursed through me like electricity, but just as quickly the realization that it had been a dream crashed down, choking me with sudden violent tears, and there I was sitting on the toilet crying my heart out.  My family slumbered on in the early morning dark as I tried to calm my gasping, ragged sobs.

Later on at yoga, I fell asleep during savasana (I always do) and when the instructor told us to start coming back to awareness, I started to cry again.  There was a light breeze coming in the windows, carrying the smell of spring and dirt and new growth, and the awareness I was coming back to was that here comes another season without my father in the world.  I didn't want to open my eyes.  I lay there for a few minutes, tears sliding down my cheeks and into my hair, and wondered if I could go on strike against a world without my father in it.  Then I took a deep breath, wiped my tears away, got up to put away my yoga mat and blocks, and went to get dressed and go on with my day. Namaste.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Here I go again

That was me, walking down Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side last night carrying a huge heavy bag from Trader Joe's and crying like a baby. Yep. Just a little bit embarrassing. Why last night? Was grocery shopping really that traumatic? I have no idea. It just hit me in the produce section and knocked me down and I couldn't get up again. Big snotty tears and gasping and boo-hooing. I wanted to sit down in the middle of the sidewalk and just give up. No more of this "one foot in front of the other" charade. Done.

I guess anyone going through severe grief has probably felt this way, but it's hard to believe that this is within the normal range of human feeling. It really does feel like someone is hitting me over the head with a hammer, again and again and again. Or punching me in the stomach and I can't breathe. It actually physically hurts. For a person like me, who is determined to get her own way in all things, come hell or high water, it is extremely difficult to accept that I can't summon my father. I need him so much right now. There are things I need to talk to him about. Important life stuff, and I really really need to know what he thinks I should do. RIGHT NOW. I cannot abide him not being available. I miss him so much that every part of my body hurts.

Is talking about this really supposed to help? The only thing I think will help is my father coming back and putting his arms around me. When I close my eyes and concentrate, I can almost feel him, smell him, hear him. I do this until it feels like I really can conjure him out of the air by force of will, and then I open my eyes and he isn't here.

Friday, February 25, 2011


While I'm going through these pictures, thought I'd post a couple more from our Antarctica trip. Can this really have been sixteen years ago?

Us with penguins.

Dad took this one. Magic moment.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dad on the Bottom of the World

Just one of a series of goofy pictures I took of Dad on the Antarctic Peninsula. Too bad it was back in the day, before digital photography came to the masses. Some of the snapshots just don't scan so well. Anyway, this was a great day. We had such fun together; Dad was a total clown. This was him trying to be very serious. We always talked about going back someday . . . I guess it's not the same now anyway - melting and such. Happy memories, though.