Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A couple of photos...

I spent this morning at Mum's - sorting out some more paperwork, filling in some more forms... It was a good, productive day, and we both felt like we'd achieved something.
We're getting there, slowly but surely.
I've telephoned so many different people to tell them about Dad - the tax office, the bank, the passport office, the pension people.
Each and every time I have to say 'My dad died at the end of last month...'
Every time I feel like I'm lying. Like it's not really real, and that this is all just some sort of bizarre test.
I wish it was.
For the most part, I'm doing ok. I'm staying busy, and I'm throwing myself into sorting out all of Dad's affairs because I know that's what he'd want me to do. He was always so organised, and he'd hate loose ends to be flying around.
But there's a big part of me that just wants to howl and wail in the vain hope that my Dad will come and make it all better again.
I find it so hard to reconcile the man I loved so much, whose hand I held as he was Heaven-bound on October 22, with the strong, fit, nigh-on immortal Dad who strides around inside my memories.
Every time I open Dad's desk drawers and see his stash of rechargeable batteries held together in size order with elastic bands, I want to cry.
Every time I sit in his office chair and shuffle through all his papers, write with his pens, turn on his laptop, riffle through his filing cabinet, or see his pencils, carefully sharpened with his ever-present Swiss Army knife, it feels like I've lost him all over again.
I brought home a few bits and bobs of Dad's today - little things that I've bought him over the years - a tiny brass perpetual calendar which lived on his desk, a kids' book called 'My Dad' that I bought him for Father's Day last year.
Mum gave me Dad's mobile phone - which was an old one of Pete's. I looked at the photo folder on there, and there was only one solitary picture on the phone.

This one...
I must have taken it, but I don't remember doing so. According to the details on the phone, it was taken on August 8 at about 6pm. I have no idea why Charlie has no shirt on, but I really love this photo. There's something wonderful about finding an unexpected picture of someone you've lost.
It's as though a memory which might otherwise have been forgotten has suddenly been given back to you.
I also brought home a little digital voice recorder that Dad asked me to get him last Christmas. He said he'd like one because his hands were shaky and his writing wasn't great, so it meant he could leave audio reminders for himself instead of having to write them down.
I was fiddling about with it as Charlie was getting ready for bed, and suddenly Dad's voice filled my bedroom. He wasn't saying anything special, just little reminders to himself to telephone insurance companies, or instructions on how to do something on the computer, but I don't think I've ever listened more intently to his voice.
The intonation, expressions and phrases, so familiar to me, were at the same time wonderful and heart-breaking to hear.
Charlie came in and his face lit up as he recognised Grandpa's voice. He curled up next to me on the bed and made me play the little messages over and over again.
He misses Dad so much.
He's spent a lot of time over the past few days, listing all the things around the house that remind him of Grandpa:
  • Max, the little furry collie dog that Dad bought him when he had his first op.
  • Daisy, the yellow, quacking duck Dad bought him when he had his second op.
  • The little rocker switch Dad put on his bedside light.
  • His wardrobes - built by Dad.
  • His bedroom shelves - put up by Dad.
  • His wooden ride-on duck (Dad made one each for all the grandkids).
  • The mug with 'Charlie Cheeky Monkey' on it that Dad picked up for him.
  • The wardrobes in our bedroom which he helped Dad to build.
So many things.
Charlie's been asking me to play 'Round and Round the Garden' with him a lot lately.
Dad has played that game with Charlie for as long as I can remember, and even though Charlie is so much bigger now, it was still something that the two of them used to enjoy doing while cuddled up together.
I think it helps Chas to feel close to his grandpa by playing it now.
I was so pleased to find this photo, which I'd forgotten about, of Dad and Charlie playing 'Round and Round the Garden' earlier this year.

I miss Dad so much.
I know this will get easier as time passes, but right here, right now, this really stinks.


Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post! The funny thing is, I just typed up a post about my step dad that passed,(I will be posting it in a few days) go to my dashboard and see yours about the same thing.

CPTwife said...

So sorry to hear about your dad. What a great picture of him and Charlie. Definitely one to be treasured.