The Father


Tomorrow marks the day that my father has been gone for seven years. It’s a day I normally bring up with Mom so that she still remembers his name and his image. I can hardly believe he has been gone for that long.

There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of him for some reason. In Mom’s room, I keep a great picture of him right by her bed and I have hung their wedding picture above her bed. They were married on August 16th and if he was still alive it would have been their 67th anniversary.

I caught her playing with her ring the other day and she asked me about mine. Our rings are both platinum and she likes to twist mine on my finger, questioning who gave it to me. I asked her last week, “Who gave you your ring?” She looks at it and also twists hers around on her finger. “Oh, I guess Russell did”. I am grateful she remembers. They had many ups and down in their life but they managed to stay together and I miss him a lot.

I miss that he never got to meet Emme but I have been told that he had a hand in Steve and I finally getting a second child after many heartbreaks. I miss that he hasn’t been able to see Sophia play his favorite game, baseball. If he were here, he would be yelling at the ballpark, giving pointers and we would have to make him go to the ice rink. Like myself, he didn’t really get or understand hockey. I miss his wisdom and advice, whether I wanted to hear it or not. He was a complex man, but his wisdom was normally right on.

He loved my mother very much and the day before he died is etched in my mind. From the bed in his den, he detailed his concerns about Mom and her memory loss. He wanted me to make sure she was taken care of well and that I looked over the money that they had saved and worked so hard for. After seven years of watching her finances, her money comes to an end next month and I will apply for medical assistance. For the second time, since I was denied in December because she had too much money.

I feel my Dad around me sometimes and I continue to ask him questions but I do not get a response. I feel like sometimes I am making a mistake and long for him to tell me I need to try a different way. I was thinking of him Friday when I didn’t make the best nursing judgment of being alone with a client in a hotel room, setting up the client’s medications and feeling uncomfortable. We got on the subject of my Dad because they were both engineers and I truthfully felt like he was watching over me to make sure I was safe. If he were alive, I know that he would have called me a knucklehead, just like he used to and reminded me to use my head.

I wish I could just hear him call my name, I so miss hearing that. I hope he is proud of the way I’ve taken care of Mom. Grief really never goes away, its always there, sometimes a small black cloud hanging over your head, deciding if it should rain on you or not. I’m sometimes glad that Mom may forget the pain of losing him. A rare good thing about her loss.