It is strange when I think about my father’s death. It only happened two years ago and it feels like forever has gone by. So much has happened since then – I’ve moved back to Northern Virginia, changed jobs, Tobey passed away. It all seems to be a blur when I look back on it; both fleeting and unreal.
Over these past two years I’ve learned to cope with my dad’s death. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I like to think he’s somewhere in Heaven with Tobey, doing what they did best together when we went to visit my parents in Virginia Beach. My dad would be sitting at the kitchen table watching a baseball game and dangling a treat at the ever attentive and well behaved large dog at his feet. These are the images in my mind that bring me comfort; these are the ways that I enjoy remembering them.
The unfortunate truth is that it also gives me time to reflect on what it was like growing up. There was so much time that I wasted being angry and ‘hating’ my father when I was a teen. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I came to recognize the importance of ‘Dad’, his many good points and his many bad points, his history and his relationship with me. Boy, I was a fool to have felt like that for so long.
Today I’ll go with my family to Arlington Cemetery and pay my respects to him, hug his grave stone and try to hold on to the memory of my dad as long as possible. Later, when evening comes and things quiet down around the house, I’ll open the good bottle of Scotch and pour two glasses, one for me and one for him, and drink in his honor.
He’d like that.