Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. I wanted to ask him what it was like. The first one without Steve. I didn’t even mention his name. Sometimes I am not sure if I should talk about him, maybe it will make someone cry…make me cry. But if I don’t talk about him does it look like I forgot him? But if I talk about him too much will it look like I am obsessing? If I don’t, does it look like I don’t care?
So I didn’t mention his name. I didn’t ask what it was like to have a birthday without him. I just pretended it didn’t happen. Chicken.
But today, Chris and I went to the cemetery to see Steve’s plaque. Can’t pretend there. We just sat on the bench and I cried. It still does not seem real. It can’t be real. This was not supposed to happen. I cannot imagine him gone, and I can’t wish him back.
I don’t know how long we sat there. The tears just wouldn’t stop. I used to make a lot of noise when I cried hard. Now it just seems like the tears silently pour down my face. The plaque says “Always in our hearts” which is perfect. He is in my heart. I thought my heart was incomplete, but it can’t be with him still there. All the pieces are there, but it hurts. What I found is my heart is bruised.
Later we walked around town a little, visited the creek Steve used to fish. Chris pointed out places Steve used to take him fishing when we were young. Another thing I did not know about Steve until recently…he used to take three of my guy friends fishing when we were in elementary school and Steve was in high school. How cool is that?
I find myself wishing I had more imagination. I could use my imagination to revive memories I did not know I would need later. Memories of things forgotten long ago that I did not know were important. Memories of him I did not know would be so treasured now that I can’t create more. If I could have imagined ever loosing him so early, I could have written down every story he told, every funny moment we shared, every trick he pulled, every giving gesture he made. I could have recorded his giggle that I miss so much.
Better yet, I could have imagined a cure and we would not have lost him. Imagine that.