Friday, October 2, 2015

Honoring Dad

My father, Michael MacDonald Vance, died from a heart attack on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.  He was 69 years and 6 days old.

I am very conscious of dates and time and so was my father. Therefore, I am exact when people ask me when he died. Those who knew him would appreciate that he died at 11:59 and that he expected me to be accurate. He died on Friday night not Saturday morning. Such an error in detail would be egregious.

But since Dad has died, my concept of time has been thrown off. From the time when he went into the hospital for a host of other physical ailments to the time he passed was 3.2857142857 weeks and yet to me it feels like 6 months. Then there are days when I feel like I have just seen him; have just talked to him. He is no more distant than the moment I am thinking of him.

Dad with his "kitties" Fluffy and Scooter
Every day this week I’ve been thinking, “Friday will be one month since Dad died.”  I’ve rallied friends to keep me company so that I don’t cry my face off.  Then last night when I was shuffling around my apartment I happened to glance at the calendar and realized that today is the 2nd, not the 4th, of October. It is not the one-month anniversary of his death, but the four-week anniversary. The only timeline that’s measured in weeks is pregnancy, so Dad would be annoyed if I mourned his one-month anniversary today, because it isn’t the one-month anniversary. And there’s a part of me that wants to honor his love of the punctilious and reign in the emotions until Sunday.

But when it comes to love and grief, time means nothing and everything. Those sentiments would make him crazy, but that's also a way for me to honor my father. I loved prodding him with such lofty, abstract thinking. 

Nevertheless Dad, I miss you every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of the month.