Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Saturday, September 30, 2006

9-30-72



It must have been a Saturday or Sunday, because my brother and I were at home watching cartoons. Or could it have been a weekday, and we just weren't in school?

My grandparents had been staying with us (they lived in Connecticut, we in Virginia), because it must have been clear what was coming.

They came home from the hospital first. Didn't really say anything to us, though my grandmother was visibly upset, and snapped about the volume on the TV. I seem to recall my grandfather telling her to leave us alone.

I may have only been 8, but at that point I knew. But my brother and I didn't say a word.

My mom came home sometime after that, and the rest is pretty much a blur. I do remember her taking us into another room to give us the news.

A few months earlier, maybe even more than that -- I have no sense of the time frame at all --she told me he was going to die. She didn't use those words, though. I'd said something about something happening "when daddy gets better." He'd been in and out of the hospital quite a bit, for endless cancer surgeries that now seem pointless.

She looked at me, hesitated for a moment, then said, "Daddy isn't going to get better." I honestly don't remember what, if anything, we said about it after that. But after a moment, I realized what she was telling me and there were many tears.

There still are.

I just realized the other day that he's now been gone for as many years as he lived. That's just.... wow. I don't have the right words.

This picture's been in a frame for so long I'd forgotten there was a sweet little note to my mother on the back. The pic was apparently taken during one of my dad's stints on the aircraft carrier on which he was deployed. It says, "Who IS this handsome devil?" Cute.

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At 30 September, 2006 15:54, Blogger Jeannette said...

My heart goes out to you, sweetie.

Is there anything special that you do on his anniversary like go for a long walk or look at family photos? Sometimes it helps.

I know the pain all too well. *hugs*

 
At 30 September, 2006 16:27, Blogger DZER said...

aww ... *huge GuamMonster hugs*

 
At 30 September, 2006 21:15, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my dad less than five years later.

I'm sure he's proud of you.

Yeharr

 
At 30 September, 2006 21:19, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

And 9-30-72 was indeed a Saturday. I remember it because it was the day Roberto Clemente got his 3,000th hit, and I was watching it on TV.

How interesting it is that we both have that day seared into his memory, for entirely different reasons...

Yeharr

 
At 30 September, 2006 23:56, Blogger sassinak said...

i was just over a year old on that day... 13.5 months just about.

*huggs*
what a horrid way to go, i'm sorry for your loss, and his

 
At 01 October, 2006 09:44, Blogger Chrissie said...

endless cancer surgeries, im sorry he didnt benefit from the treatments I got 25 years later, maybe it wouldnt have been pointless. My worst fear was not seeing my kids grow up, now I get closer to that goal each year. *hugs* I'm sorry for all of you.

 
At 01 October, 2006 10:04, Blogger terry said...

jeannette, i have no special ritual...except to sit and cry at some point. nice, huh? one year -- the 30th "anniversary" -- i went to a church and lit a candle for him, and for my mom...but considering my feelings about organized religion, i felt like a hypocrite.

and i know you understand that pain all too well. my heart aches for you, too.

thanks, dzer. i needed that!

pirate, thank you... and again you amaze me with your knowledge...! it's actually nice to know something good was happening on that day.

sass, thank you, you young'un.

chrissie, that always gets me, too...knowing that he knew he wasn't going to get to see us grow up. how awful that must have been. and my mom... my god, what she went through.

and i'm so happy that you're so healthy now! that's fantastic.

part of the problem in my dad's situation is that it took awhile for the docs to figure out that he had breast cancer. most people still don't know men can get it, and they certainly didn't know it in the early 70's. even at the top medical center where he was treated.

 
At 01 October, 2006 17:26, Blogger JMai said...

Terry, I can't even imagine the pain. Chulo and I were discussing the loss of parents just the other day, and even at our age, neither of us can imagine a world without our parents, nutty and pains in the ass as they may be. I'm so sorry for your loss.

 
At 01 October, 2006 19:07, Blogger terry said...

thanks, jmai. i know it seems odd to some to still have this hole in my heart after all these years, but i do.

and it's never easy to lose a parent, at any age.

 
At 01 October, 2006 22:01, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

i'm very sad for you

----

lighting a candle in a church is not a reflection of religious adherence

there was no hypocrisy in your action

where else would it be more appropriate to light a candle

nowhere

you honoured them

 
At 01 October, 2006 22:12, Blogger sassinak said...

i light candles for people because i believe that if you send out positive energy or thoughts or prayers or hopes they actually do something.

that i think organized religion is sorta evil? not relevant to the candle lighting.

 
At 02 October, 2006 07:12, Blogger Natalia said...

I am sorry you had to experience that at such a young age. *hugs*

But as much as I don't believe in religion, I believe in the spirit and I do believe we go on after the body gives. I am not sure what happens, but I am sure that your dad is watching in some way. Or he might have chosen to come back for a second try at life. I believe we check out when we are ready to...as sudden, unfair, or early that passing might be.

To me, the best thing we can do for those who are no longer here is keep their memory alive by talking about them and thinking about them, the way you are doing now.

-N

 
At 02 October, 2006 10:27, Blogger SignGurl said...

Thank you for sharing this part of who you are. {{{hard hugs}}}

 
At 02 October, 2006 18:05, Blogger terry said...

thanks, cad. and sass.
i actually went to a catholic church because he was catholic (i'm a fallen catholic) and i thought that was a way to honor him. still, i felt weird...

nat, thank you. i always wonder about whether he's around in some way.

thanks, signgurl.

 
At 02 October, 2006 21:47, Blogger Jon said...

why is it that every time you post, it doesn't matter what mood your are in, I want to give you a hug.

XOXOX

 
At 02 October, 2006 22:51, Blogger terry said...

awww, jon... that's so sweet. you make me smile.

 
At 06 October, 2006 06:55, Blogger Barb said...

Found you by a linking process to complicated to explain. So sorry about your dad. Mine died when I was 10..

Skittles' Place

 

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