Monday, August 16, 2010

What Shark?

Have you guys seen this commercial?

Every time I see it, I think, “THAT’S what walking around after your dad dies feels like.”

Except, of course, there’s no handy lozenge.

Every single little moment of the day... regardless of what I’m doing, how I’m feeling or who I’m talking to... I have some version of dad. dad. dad. dad. dad. going through my head. I’m thinking of Dad when I wake up. I’m thinking of him when I think of Mom or one of my family members for the 783rd time that day, wondering how they are doing and feeling and coping.

I’m thinking of him when I see on the news that a farmer’s field has flooded, and I pick up the phone to call him and hear what he has to say about it. And I realize in that moment how much I called to tell him about, just because I loved listening to him talk about things that interested him. I didn’t care about hog futures, but I loved talking to him about them. I didn’t care about how he was going to manage to dry up and fill in the lagoon, but I loved listening to every detail and asking him questions just so I could listen to him explain it to me.

I’m thinking of him as football is starting to play on TV. I hear those familiar sounds and I can’t imagine how I’m going to hear those sounds again without tears coming to my eyes. I called him each week to make sure we were watching the same games that day, so when he called after a bad call or I called him after an amazing play we’d both be having the same reaction.

I’m thinking of him as Nie Nie asked me why I say, “Oh my word!” so much and, without thinking, I replied, “To make little girls like you ask questions.” The phrase he said to me so often in my life when he didn’t have the answer to one of my myriad of inquiries.

I’m thinking of him, hearing dad. dad. dad. dad. dad. in my thoughts, in the background of my every day life. And when life gets quiet, as it so often does here in the condo, the sound grows louder. The weight heavies on my chest, and I feel the loss of him as surely as I have felt the weight of him all through my life.

And I know someday I will wake up and see the sharks that have devoured my arm. I know someday the sound of his name won’t be so constant. Someday it might not feel as heavy.

But every day, whether loud or quiet, the word dad will always hold the same, undeniable weight. The same measure of care. The same impact of love.

And I am blessed because of it.

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