The night before my dad started dying, I tried on a bridesmaid dress at his house. I wore the strappy matching sandals days later when I ran full speed down the hospital hallway.
It was Thursday when we got the call. He had had a massive heart attack while opening the box on his long awaited Apple G4. He lingered in the ICU for 4 days on life support before he was finally taken to that giant computer superstore in the sky. R2 was 9 months old, and we were still reeling from his birth and trauma.
It's been 10 years today. He would be 62 years old. It's still unbelievable sometimes that he is actually, permanently dead. He was a giant of a man, in life and in spirit. I'll tell you a little bit about him.
Daddy was 6'4 and had shoulders that barely fit through doorways. His curly black hair was largely silver in the years prior to his death, and he often styled it, or did not style it, in the image of Albert Einstein. He wore denim shirts and jeans, pulled way, way up for most of my life, although I have heard rumors of the old days when he wore profane t-shirts and star-spangled bellbottoms.
He never took anything too seriously, except hating Nixon and Hitler. Everything else was funny, some way or another. He was arrogant and irresponsible and brilliant and kind. He was my best friend and my constant cheerleader. He was a genius, a true genius. Sometimes when Toby crosses his ankles or falls asleep with a book on his chest, I remember. It's sweeter, now.
The day before he died, we gathered (the 5 of us kids and our spouses, and Mama) to talk about what to do about life-support. Somehow, in that tense moment full of tears, we found ourselves laughing uproariously at thoughts of what he would do in heaven. God took the decision out of our hands, and we said goodbye. There was no laughter for a couple of days, and then it came back. It was different, but it came back.
Life isn't fair, he always said. Also, he said, what do you mean, there's nothing to eat? There's eggs, there's cheese...
poems about Daddy