My dad died.
I’ve been trying to make sense of things since I got the news. Our relationship was…. complicated, and I don’t want to talk about that here.
Death makes me think of a clean cut with a sharp knife that removes a limb, but not the phantom sensations.
My father is no longer among us physically, but his memory lives on.
It’s odd the times I am reminded of those who are no longer living.
My grandfather used to wave to other drivers by sticking up his middle finger, which made me giggle every time I saw it. Now when I’m driving in a rural area and someone waves at me, I think of my grandfather. My grandmother used to read signs aloud whenever I drove her somewhere. Now sometimes I find myself reading billboards, and I think of her.
With my great-grandfather, it’s former president Jimmy Carter. One Christmas my great-grandfather told a joke about Carter divorcing his wife Rosalyn because swine flu caused her to root up a row of peanuts. Now when I see or hear Carter, the thought of my great-grandfather telling that joke- probably the only joke I ever heard him tell- comes to mind.
The same is true of those companion animals I shared my life with.
When one of the cats goes a little crazy while eating and leaves food on the floor, I miss DeDe, who never let a food crumb lie. I think of Rumpy when I eat carrots, because he and I used to share a can of carrots sometimes when I was hungry but didn’t want to go to the trouble to fix anything. I can’t bring myself to eat carrots from the can since his death. I hear June Buggie meow at me whenever one of the cats fusses at me.
I have always had a song for each companion in my life. For my cat Precious, it was “Precious and Few” as sung by Climax. For many years I couldn’t sing the song at all, and even now my eyes water when I hear the song.
As I write this post I am also making memories. All four cats like to be in my office when I work from home, or in the living room like now. Hissy Fit Jones sits beside me and looks at me until I rub my head against his. Little Girl snuggles beside me in bed. Yella purrs loudly when I groom him. Graybie insists on being held sometimes when I work, and does not take no for an answer.
My dad’s wife wants my father’s ashes and those of his companion animals to be together. I like that, because my dad loved his pets. I would like the same to be done when I die.
I hope you are making memories today for either yourself or for someone you love.