It has been eight years since you left on September 26, 2013. Not a day goes by that I do not think of you. You are always looking over my shoulder when I chop a carrot, fry an onion, or stir a pot of soup. I see you in every soaring bird and every incandescent sunset. I am sure that feathery clouds placed against a bright blue sky were put there by your hand, not just for me, but for all of us to enjoy.
I know it seems strange to say, but your personality was so large, your love of life so contagious, I sometimes think you are not actually dead. You are just in another state, making art, planning a new adventure, or preparing a delicious meal for a large group of friends. I have finally gotten to the place where I no longer grieve your departure, but rather acknowledge you as ever-present. I do things all the time and imagine that you are weighing in, letting me know that you are proud of me.
For a long time now, I feel like I have hit a wall with my writing. The words don’t flow like they used to. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. If you were here, you would tell me not to judge myself so harshly. You would tell me to stick with it through the challenges. And I would listen.
You would say don’t give up, Lisa. You can do whatever you set your mind to doing.
You would say let’s go for a bike ride and get some ice cream. Things are always better after ice cream!
Let’s go get some ice cream, Dad. I’ll see you again tomorrow.
2 thoughts on “After Ice Cream”
I too loved your Dad, in a different way and context. This Yom Kippur I lit a Yahrzeit candle for the memorial service for departed parents. I hadn’t done that in decades, in part, I think because I had been afraid that I would be cutting a tie, with fire instead of steel, and stole that moment from its natural sequence out my own insecurity. In the days since, my Father (Blessed be his name) has reassured me that I have gained more by linking us both to what has always been.
My ice cream memory includes your mother when one year someone’s parent brought scoops in during Art class to celebrate a birthday.