Monday, June 19, 2006

coming home...

Father's day yesterday, and while I never, ever want to minimize the importance of the holiday, and I naturally want to celebrate the lovely man who is my husband and "daddy extraordinaire" to our boys, I still find the day incredibly sad. The pain is lessening as the years go by, but I'm sure it will always be this way, won't it? Always a void. Finding the perfect card for him, but not buying it. Life goes on but I don't have to like it. :) I know it's a difficult day for my mum too - she of course feels the loss of her own father (26 years ago now) as well as her husband. The day was usually spent in the backyard, my dad at the bbq, lots of chat and celebration. It was home. We never went out for dinner - why bother? A Herb-grilled meal was the best steakhouse in town. Except for me, of course, who eats only "twigs & grass" (according to my dad lol, he never got the refusal to eat meat thing, but he loved me anyway) And Herb was a homebody anyway - better to have everyone over to our house than to try to take the party anywhere else.

My mum lost one of her oldest and closest friends a couple of weeks ago. Aunt J was not really an aunt, but such a part of my life from the time I was a baby, that she was just that - Aunt J. 65 years she and my mother had known each other, and her funeral was one of the most difficult I have ever attended. The sense of loss for her family was so intense, and it was so hard to see my mum grieving for yet another friend. The service was lovely, the minister knew her well, so he was easily able to speak about her in intimate terms. So that was hard, but for me the most difficult part of the funeral process comes at the very end. Leaving the cemetery while the casket remains has got to be one of the saddest walks a person will ever do. Leaving Aunt J there alone just seemed so wrong. And yes, I know that the representative from the funeral home waits alongside the casket until the cemetery people lower it into the ground, but all I could think was that if I'd had to leave my dad there...I would still be there. I couldn't leave him. I am so thankful for my parents' wishes - cremation just seems so right.

You see, whenever my dad was hospitalized - and it was quite often in the final years of his life - all he ever wanted to do was go home. "When are they letting me out?" "Bissy, come on, let's bust me out of here, what do we have to do?" Each time he did come home and couldn't have been happier. The last time, of course, he didn't. He stayed at the hospital, but then made the trip to the funeral home and then to the crematorium. A couple of days later we got a call from the funeral home saying that his ashes were ready to be picked up. So up we went to get him - now in a very plain urn in a blue felt bag - like a Crown Royal bag - we joked about that on the drive home.

Bringing the urn into the house, my mum said "you're home".

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