I am not feeling quite as cosmic and philosophical today about the absence of Georg. Just because I have not lost him—as I explained in yesterday’s post—does not mean I do not miss him. Smarty Pants does not know everything.
I miss him fiercely.
I have not lived near my dad since I was about 16. Not being physically together was our normal mode of existence for most of my adult life. Even so, he was only ever a phone call or an email away. We kept in touch. We supported each other as best we could from a distance.
When he started to have health problems in January of 2013, I made him move to Sheboygan. These last nine months brought us very close again, reminding me of when I was a child and he was my primary caregiver while my mom was at work. In those early years of my life, Georg and I spent our days having all manner of adventures on the mean streets of Chicago, riding the El, wandering through the Art Institute, going to the bar across the street from our apartment, hanging out in his studio.
Here, in Sheboygan, every day for the last nine months, I would check on Dad morning and evening, making sure he got his medicine, telling him about my day, taking him out to eat at one of his favorite Sheboygan haunts: Legend Larry’s, El Camino, Trattoria Stefano. Dad’s taste ranged wide.
Our last fun meal in Sheboygan was a picnic dinner on Thursday, August 29 in his ’97 Ford truck, overlooking Lake Michigan near North Point. He had just had a rather harrowing afternoon at the doctor’s office, having a painful boil on his rear end lanced. After that was over, he said “I need a couple beers.”
So, I got us a six-pack and two Subway sandwiches. Spicy Italians. We shared a bag of chips. I don’t think I’d ever had a meal like that with my dad ever before.
He said, “we’ll have to do this more often.”
I said, “For sure, Dad, we will.”