It’s Father’s Day this Sunday and I’ve got my Papa on my mind.
The 26th of this month will mark the 2 year anniversary of losing him, and although I don’t want focus on his death, it’s hard not to think about it when the date rolls around, and that last Father’s Day we had him with us is really etched in my memory because he passed away the following Sunday.
He was in hospice care here at home, and we had recently needed to bring him downstairs (out of his bedroom) to be in a hospital type bed so that we could better tend to his needs as his health was declining. He was having more and more times of being pretty much out of it because of the increasing doses of morphine he was on to help ease his pain, so it was far from Father’s Day as usual.
It hadn’t been planned, but a nurse came by that day to give him a sponge bath. Although he had his eyes closed the majority of the time, I could tell he was enjoying it, especially while she was washing his hair. It always feels good to be clean and freshen up a bit no matter what condition we’re in, doesn’t it? God bless hospice workers…
My sis had taught my daughter how to operate my Dad’s lawn mower, so she mowed the lawn for her Grandpa for Father’s Day. And even though he couldn’t say so, I know he appreciated it. She mowed the lawn here just yesterday and it really brought back those memories.
Living here now with my mom there are regular reminders of my Dad all the time, and we take those moments as they come. Sometimes it’s completely out of the blue that we’ll find ourselves sobbing at something random and missing him, and sometimes it’s more intentional. Like I intentionally brought in some Lily of the Valley from the yard when they were blooming earlier this spring and placed them near his urn. They were in bloom right around the time that he went into hospice and I would come by every day and bring some in to him. I remember him holding them up to his nose and inhaling their lovely scent and the look on his face. You know, sometimes there’s not much you can do for people when they’re suffering, and everything seems so empty and useless, but I do think that smelling those Lily of the Valley brought some joy to my Dad even in his difficult situation, and I’m glad I was able to do even just that small gesture for him. ♥
I never took the opportunity to have a serious talk with him about life and death and such things while he was dying, and I regret that a bit now, but I wanted to be a joy to him at the time and not make him have to talk about the heavy stuff. Although, I did tell him he needn’t worry about my mom because I would see to it that she was taken care of. To which he scoffed and said “you don’t have a pot to piss in, how are you going to take care of mom?” I had just recently lost everything; my marriage, my house, my job, the majority of my belongings, and it was true I didn’t have a “pot to piss in” (hah, my dad and his expressions), but I meant I’d take care of her in more than just a financial way. And I believe I have done that. Told you I would, Pops. 😉
I don’t know where my Dad is now, but I like to think that he’s somehow aware of everything I’m doing here and that it pleases him in some way. My Dad wasn’t a perfect man or Father, far from it, but he was mine, and I wouldn’t have wanted any other.
I miss him so much.
This Father’s Day I have plans to get his stereo system all set up. When my daughter and I moved in, my Dad’s stereo got moved to another spot in the living room and I haven’t yet gotten to the task of hooking it all back up again. It’s farther away from the speakers than it was before so I may have to run out and get some speaker wire, but hopefully I can get it all hooked up by Sunday.
My thought in doing this is to have the stereo on all day continuously playing some of my Dad’s favorite music. I think that’s a wonderful way to honor him and keep the day alive with his spirit for Father’s Day.
The music of Henry Mancini reminds me of him the most, and this song in particular…