It's been a month since my dad passed away. His passing began on Christmas Eve and was completed just after midnight on Christmas night. Most of the hard things about a loved one's passing, fell to me to cope with. Making phone calls and decisions. Supporting my mother through it all. Helping my husband through his own unsettled memories of a death at Christmas long ago, suddenly raw and aching. It's been a somber month and I've just begun to feel like I'm coming out of a blanket of fog and numbness that enveloped me .
What I'll remember is how truly joyful he was about a year ago when I accepted a job and decided to move close by. The summer sunsets we watched together from the porch, the time spent talking about the variety of birds at the feeder. He told a lot of stories in the last months, about times he was a boy and then a younger man in the service. He was loosing touch with small daily things, but remembering clearly things from 70 years ago. He talked about his mother canning food during the war years and how his father's shoe shop smelled. He talked about some choices he'd made in life and things he might have done differently. He reconsidered some of his relationships and wished to make ammends where he could.
He wasn't always the ideal father and there are many things better left alone. But in the last years, he became a better man. And I was so blessed to have the last 10 months to know him.