Yesterday was Father’s Day, and one might have imagined that I would have posted on such a day, to honor Georg. However, I was up in Door County for a “destination wedding,” enjoying five days of Door County bliss: a misty trip out to Washington Island on the ferry, breath-taking vistas from the top of Cana Island Lighthouse on a clear day, and breakfast at the White Gull Inn. In addition to all this beauty, I took in a fish boil at the Old Post Office in Ephraim, with a stellar after dinner sunset on a pier right across the road from the restaurant.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think of Georg many times. You might remember—if you have been reading this blog since the beginning—that he and I spent a day in Door County last August doing many fun things (because that is what you do in Door County, even if you are not in the best of health.)
But, that day ended at the Old Post Office for fish boil, with Georg having sudden acute chest pains, and me driving him all the way home to Sheboygan to the hospital, thinking he could be having a heart attack. It was not my best day ever. It ended with me eating smashed cherry pie around midnight in my kitchen; cherry pie that the waitress had wrapped up for us as we rushed out of the restaurant with the admonition to head toward Sturgeon Bay on the east side of the peninsula. The quiet side.
Well, we made it home that night, but that was the true beginning of the end. It makes me very sad to think about this. However, in the same breath, it makes me happy to think about how Door County remains, neutral and beautiful as ever. I was there this past weekend with a friend who joined me at the wedding, and every time I pointed out some place I had been with Dad, he nodded sympathetically and squeezed my hand. He understood, and he did not seem alarmed by learning fun facts like: “this is the gallery I took Georg to” or “this is the gas station where I bought the aspirin,” or “this is the table where we sat for dinner, him there, me here.”
So many more things happened that were new and lovely and had little to do with Georg. Or maybe, I am deluding myself and everything has to do with Georg. Every bird hovering in the wind, every whiff of lilac, every good meal. The wedding itself, where family and friends of the bride and groom gathered to eat, dance, and raise a glass in honor of the new couple was a reminder of the great power of love.
Yeah, Georg is still there, just as he is still everywhere. I came home from Door County, and so did he. He moved on to a different home, one with breath-taking vistas, sunset shows, and birds. Lots and lots of birds. Flying, diving, hovering, in flocks, in pairs, and alone. The birds this weekend reminded me that sometimes we fly alone, and sometimes we fly with another. Georg knew that both ways are good. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me these things, even though it has taken me an awfully long time to learn them.
And of course, wherever you are, Happy Father’s Day.