It doesn’t feel real

It’s been a year.

It doesn’t feel real yet.

A few mornings ago I woke up and my first thought was “oh yeah, Dad is dead.”

I got a phone call late at night, my belle-meré par remariage called to tell me Dad didn’t make sense. That he wasn’t able to speak, that she took him to the hospital.

The doctors said words that were terrifying. Stroke. Brain stem.

I asked her to ask them what the chance was. We hung up and as I waited I googled and talked to my brother. Maybe it was just dehydration like last time. But now I was starting to worry that last time wasn’t just that.

We know different things now, but when Coco called back I knew what had to happen. I knew that there was no other choice and no other decision.

Don’t keep him on machines. Don’t try more. Don’t let Dad be an eggplant.

He made me promise once, a long long long time ago, between marriages, that I wouldn’t let him linger.

Sure, Dad.

I was 19 or 20.

That was the summer he mastered making creme brûlée.

I hit a van with the truck.

I took Boone to the Rez to swim.

I moved to Chicago.

21 years later I did what he wanted.

And now it’s been a year and I miss him. I was at Yoga a couple weeks ago and the instructor said that we should all find forgiveness of ourselves.

Do I hold myself guilty for telling Coco to do that? Do I think it’s my fault? No. But that’s not the same as forgiving myself, and it’s not guilt or anything like that.

I just miss him. And it’s hard to forgive myself for a thing I don’t feel guilt over. I’m not sure what I’m forgiving myself for.

I wish I’d called him or texted when I knew he got that fucking tie. I wish I’d put a note in telling him I was going to Comic-Con. I wish a lot of things.

I wish he was still here.

I wish he was still calling me at random hours, forgetting I was hours behind him. I wish he was complaining about baseball because oh my god, he would have had words about fucking Bauer and his hissy fit, and Tito and the collapse of our problematically named team. And he would have echo’d Taffy and tell LeBron where to shove it for going to LA. He would have said a lot about politics and risk and earthquakes and didn’t you all goddamn know with the airplanes!?

I miss reading his papers before he sent them off. Telling him he didn’t have to send me a PDF to upload. I miss calling him a jackass. I miss him telling me he couldn’t wait to see what LezWatch became. I miss telling him not to sell for anything less than a half a million.

I miss him.

I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.

He wasn’t perfect but he was the best dad I could have ever asked for. I love him. A lot. And I always will.

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