Unfinished business, a visit with daddy

6 months ago your heart was still beating, your body warm, your stuff where you left it. 6 months ago you were here, your office was set up as you left it, your book waiting for you to return to finish it. 6 months ago your grave was still whole, unmarked, a plot of untouched land. Now it is there, covered in snow, marked only by your name and your dates.
it has been six months since my life changed, since my dad died, since my world view was drastically altered. I say this all in the passive as i really didn’t have much to do with it. I didn’t make him die, I didn’t actively help the process along. But, now that it has happened, I have the ability to take control over how it changes me, how I move on and that is what I will do.
I am home for the long weekend, visiting with my mom and sister, getting a good dose of my community, my fan club, my home. As I was taking in my return to home I began with some of the usual rituals, coming home, rushing to morning minyan, running some errands, and then my day ended. It used to be that I would come home, run my errands and then visit with my papa, spend time with my dad, have him to talk to on and off as he sat in his office and I sat in my room. I was busy, I had people to see. now it is different. I can visit all 4 of my grandparents at the same time, and my dad. Instead of sipping tea together, I run in and out of the car, trying to stay warm while having a conversation, sharing my thoughts without their support or feedback.
The hardest part was writing my d’var torah for this Shabbat. I knew what I wanted to say, and yet I couldn’t get the words out. In a moment of frustration I got in the car and drove out to visit the family. I said hi to my nana and papa, filled them in on the inner workings of my life. Next stop was grammy and zayde, they too got the scoop on what’s been going on. Finally, I stopped at my dad. It was freezing outside, and yet I spent 20 minutes standing over his grave, yelling, crying, laughing. I practiced my torah reading, and he didn’t’ jump up and correct me, so I think I did alright. I filled him in on my life and thanked him for a gift that could only be from him. And then I sat there, staring at his name, recognizing the finality in what was before me. And I wrote, and wrote and wrote… I needed his inspiration, and I was truly inspired.
6 months ago, dad was expecting to come home. His papers still are strewn around his office, he to do list still on his nightstand from his last day, the day I spent with him. 6 months ago he had dreams, plans, appointments. I MISS HIM, I wasn’t done loving him… I’ll never be done, but I will go on… I can only hope that he will continue to inspire me!

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