Sometimes it feels looking back on my growing up years that if you were to weigh the cacophonous memories of childhood against the moments you could tell for sure you were loved and cared for the former side would be maxed out and sunk into the table.
But I do have memories of my Dad looking at me with pride or small moments where he was able to express that love. They feel small but they exist and I hold them close. I will say even with the hard stuff rising to the surface like oil on water – I’m still able to talk to my Dad. I think because he always showed up.
Yesterday I called him up and said, “Wellness check!” It’s something we trade off saying during these Covid-times when it’s been a few weeks between calls.
Over the years it’s often been 6+ months between conversations, so to have a period in March, April, and May of this year where we’ve talked weekly if not more, it’s been nice. Those conversations have been good and easy.
Wellness check! I say, but behind my words I’m wondering if he’s okay.
We’ve been thinking about you today, I say.
We talk and he tells me how Joey (Cowboy Joey), one of my hometown’s “walkers”, died. Joey was in a local rest home and died from complications to Covid.
Is it weird to feel sadness for a loss when you probably only interacted a handful of times but were also always reassured when you saw him or one of the other town “walkers” go by while running an errand on Wilson St? Reassuring because the fabric of your town was in its rightful position.
It was also sad hearing of another rest home-Covid casualty from a building inspector I used to work with. He was a gruff barrel on stilts of legs and when he retired his parting gift to the City was a City vehicle “filled” with empty alcohol bottles he had unceremoniously left in the car. 🙃
But neither of us mentioned her specifically.
I have her on my calendar as “Terri died” but I’m changing that to Terri’s Anniversary, because the reminder feels too garish as written when June 18th rolls around and it’s been 7 years.
And I think back, did I show up treating her with enough kindness? Did I not take her serious enough because of my Dad’s penchant for red flag relationships? Could I have been better? I could have.
I understand what you had to do but I also know my Dad misses you in all the ways that were and might have been.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline • 1-800-273-8255
Donate in memory of Cowboy Joey to Valley Sheltered Workshop, a non-profit organization that provides job opportunities to individuals with disabilities.