Its hard to gather my thoughts together, as I lay here on the couch staring into the fireplace. We spent 5 long hours on the road to say goodbye to my father. I watched him roll his bag down the ramp and around the corner, his destination: The Motherland, perhaps to say goodbye to his own mother. My last grandparent, laying in bed, fading away.
He is going by himself, a short trip, and I wonder if it will be burned into my memory like when he went over when my grandfather passed. He went alone then. I remember laying on the ungodly 70s couch in the livingroom, watching a daytime marathon of the first season of Alias. I would follow the show all the way until the last season. Which is typical of me, I can’t finish anything. I remember rolling off the couch and hugging my father goodbye, perhaps disgruntled to have my marathon interrupted. After all, I didn’t have many memories if my grandfather. Snapshots. Me watching him roll his own tight cigarettes in the darkened diningroom. Him yelling at me to stop playing with the hose. The fear I had after he’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, that he wouldn’t know who I was, but the fear melted away when he saw me. Recognition lit his eyes and he smiled and called me Little Love. And shortly my father returned, he had presents in tow. He had found various Manga for me. All of which, I still have. One of which became one of my favorite series.
But thats how it is for me. I’m never there when my family members pass. I simply have odd memories of when it happens. Having to stay at my best friend’s house while my mother and father both flew to Seattle when my first grandparent passed. It was the middle of indoor soccer season and I was getting ready for an evening game. And perhaps it was for the best I ended up missing it. My parents weren’t there, with their pockets full of Rolos to hand me during the game. My brother and I each took turns talking with them on the phone. They cheerfully wished me good luck on my game and I passed the phone to my brother. When he hung up, he told me Grandpa had died. They hadn’t told me because I was young. I fell down and began crying. In hindsight, it feels a bit dramatic to me. I don’t remember feeling any emotion at the time. Simply that… people cry when family members pass, and so I cried..
I am staring at the fire, and wondering what is burning itself into my memories right now. Mother and I drove back in the dark and the rain, quiet. The sound of the rain on the windshield, like soft radio static. We arrived home to a dark and silent house. I put on my pajamas and curled up on the couch, my father’s usual spot. Mother sets about preparing dinner. And right about now my father would be just taking off..