More thought, less emotion.
Today would have been Dad's 60th birthday. I don't think we had a big party planned or anything. Maybe. People never seem to tell me I'm involved in such plans until the last minute, and then insist that I've known for months. Who knows whether the fault lies with them for not telling me, or with me for not internalizing it properly? (remember Sammy Jankis...)
- At the funeral, a few people mentioned the little-known fact that Dad used to perform magic. Not professionally or anything, but he wasn't bad, and he enjoyed a lifetime membership to the Magic Castle which has probably now expired. (Talk about adding insult to injury...)
Anyway, this mention was a serious vindication for me, because he'd do tricks to amaze us as children, but when asked to repeat them years later, feign confusion and insist I'd imagined them.
I don't know if this amused him, covered the shame of being out of practice, just let him go back to what he was doing, or if he wanted that to remain in the realm of childhood memories so the magic would stay real. Whatever the motivation, he always stuck to this story.
Thus, I don't know if revealing that I hadn't imagined it would have disappointed him, or if that was always intended to be part of the game. (Was this your card?)
Then again, maybe they told me months ago, and the fault lies with me for not paying attention.
A related example:
- I met with an old friend who had driven out for the funeral, and had breakfast together before seeing him back on the freeway. We chose McDonalds, to try these new McGriddles sandwiches everyone's talking about. Two bites in, I was trying to hold back tears at the thought that "Dad would have liked this."
And then I laughed, because he really wouldn't.
He was curious at the hype, but would never have deliberately eaten this, and if he had, I can guarantee you he would not have enjoyed it. At best, he would have liked that I was eating it because it'd make a good segue for him to tell the story of my hot-fudge chicken sundae, or some other culinary masterpiece the world will never understand.
This despair I was feeling because he'd never get to try the new McGriddle sanwiches at McDonalds? A rediculous projection.
But for a moment there, I had fooled myself.
Anyway, in lieu of a birthday celebration, we'll be having a nice dinner in his honor. If you want to do the same, it's a decent excuse to treat yourself well. Have a glass of wine - preferably good.
This just added...
- ugliness warning:
If you're at all close to the subject emotionally, you might want to give it a few weeks before you read the comments on this entry.
I just screened most of the comments.