Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Coming to terms with living in a Post-Daddy world.

It is a beautiful frosty morning, a moon still hanging in a soft blue sky festooned with cirrus clouds and con trails.  I decided to go for a walk around the block before starting into the day.  It has been nearly three weeks since my father died, but our lives have been different for most of a year.  For him, his cancer brought about, in a horrid sort of inverse pregnancy, nine months of getting smaller, weaker, and more helpless.  At one point, recently, he reflected ruefully that Shakespeare had it right in his speech about the Seven Ages of Man.

For us, there was the knowledge of the inevitability of his death and the sorrow of seeing this private and dignified man whom we loved wholeheartedly subjected to one indignity after another, and struggling to maintain control;  trying to get everything done before there was no longer any time in which to do it.

Now, Daddy has been reborn into whatever new reality awaits, and we must make ourselves a brave new world, without him.

  Everywhere I looked this morning, I saw evidence that life goes on.  Woodpeckers were knocking at the dead trees in the swamp looking for grubs to warm them against the oncoming winter. Recycling was out by the curb, testament to the fact that meals are still being prepared and consumed. People were driving by me, waving "good morning" on their way to work.   My cheeks and fingers were burning with the cold.  My right hip flexor and my left knee reminded me of my physical presence and my own challenges. I was surprised to find that my eyes were wet, and knew it was not just from the cold.

When I came to the  long steady climb out of the quarry, I was further surprised to find that it was just as hard, but no harder, than usual.    Life really is the same as ever except for that one crucial thing.  I began to pay attention to my footfalls, to really savour the placement of each foot on the gravel.  Before long I was storming up the steeper hill that leads to my house.  There will come a time when it won't be possible.  Life is a crap shoot, and you never know when the dice will come up snake eyes.  In the meantime, Carpe Diem.

1 comment:

  1. I got tears in my eyes reading this, Chris, as it brings back memories of similar experiences. At the beginning life going on seems like the world is committing treason; as time goes by, it is what brings you out of it. I wish you luck and beauty on your journey and echo your words, carpe diem. We never know.