Bending the mold

Dad was always sure he knew the way the world should work. As I grew up, this annoyed me sometimes. As I’ve aged, it has been such a comfort. I realize now it was a comfort even back then, although I was not wise enough to recognize that fact. My father was not a man…

A chip off the old block

An old friend and I had lunch today. That in itself is unremarkable. As was our marking of Father’s Day here in the States. Our fathers passed within a few years of each other, as did our mothers. And her only sibling passed away around the time my sister was diagnosed with cancer. We became…

Grief is a funny thing. Except it isn’t.

You can go for days, weeks, months with no episodes. You are back to life as usual, feeling like you did the hard work to adjust to your new normal. Usually this new normal is a rearranged normal, a normal that for a time at least, is meant to cover a gaping hole in your…

Ain’t no room for sissies and bellyachers on this bus

His favorite phrase is like a mantra in my brain today: Getting old is not for sissies. This was my father’s much-used answer to, “How are you doing today, Dad?” At least in his eighties. The decade before, he’d say cheerily, “Finer than frog’s hair, sweetie.” I was never quite sure what that meant but…

The last perfect day

In the end, what he gave me was one last perfect day. When I visited my father in Ohio over the last 18 months of his life, the visits were short. If I’m perfectly honest, it wasn’t just because of my schedule. It was because Dad and I could have a perfect 24 hours. After…