Funny how some things can be a gift and yet break your heart at the same time.
I have a collection of voice mail messages on my phone dating back to 2004. Most of them are of Tristan with his little boy voice:
"Hello. We don't know where the pancake mix is."
"Hewwo. We're at the place where we played gowf. I won a bunch of tickets to get a toy. See you later! Love you!"
Or David telling me he was going to bed and that he loved me. My sister singing (to be used for blackmail when I need it) or the other message about her telling me that Tristan had a good day mowing the lawn and that she was about to have him start cleaning the kitchen next. Birthday wishes from my Mom. A hello from my Aunt Sis. Twenty four messages and the phone only holds twenty five so I tend to delete all of the new messages, saving the old ones.
Then the two messages that I listened to today. My Dad. I haven't heard his voice in awhile. The first time (since the evening of June 8th) was a couple of weeks ago when I visited with my Dad's friend, Tom, in San Jose. He played the message of my Dad that he had on his phone. It made my heart hurt.
I miss that voice. I miss those calls. I miss the daily "Hi! What are you doing?" that used to bug the hell out of me (never a "how are you?" but always "what are you doing?") Never realizing that the "What are you doing?" was his way of asking "how are you?" Always knowing deep down that there would be a day when the phone calls stopped and my heart would break. Never thinking that the day would come so damn soon.
The messages were typical of my Father. The first was him singing Happy Birthday to me. The second was a message for Tristan talking about how Tristan had left a song for him on his voice mail and that he had a song for Tristan. He started singing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and he was laughing at the end. I miss that laugh.
November 1st into November 2nd is Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. A time to celebrate and remember loved ones who have died. I don't need just two days. I'm remembering my Dad every single day. It's the little things that add up: his hat hung on a hook by my front door, one of his cds (Dean Martin) playing in my cd player, his briefcase in my living room, a remark by Tristan that makes me think of my Dad, a visit to the local bookstore wandering around with my phone in my hand still waiting for it to ring (he always had a tendency to catch me whenever I was in that bookstore) and it remains silent, a trip to the movies and wanting to tell Dad that he'd like to see it, a trip past Wilshire Blvd making me think of the first time my parents visited and my Dad called it Will-Shire. All of it adds up.
Funny how one can be sad and yet grateful at the same time.
This isn't the post I sent out to write but like life, it is what it is. Thanks for journeying along with me. My posts aren't to discourage or to bring folks down. My hopes are that my posts about what I'm going through may help someone else to crack open their journals and explore whatever is in their heads. It's nice to be able to get it out of your head to document, reflect and process all of the stuff that's swirling around up there. I'm thankful for my books and the gifts that they give me even when I'm working through hard times. At least I know, I'm not alone.