Six weeks ago today. Six weeks since my life took such an unforeseen crazy turn. Six weeks of looking at life – everything – differently. Obviously, it makes sense that things will ‘never be the same,’ but here’s a list of a few things in particular that are forever changed for me.
- The parking lot outside of Ross and Marshalls: Yep. You never forget where you were when you first heard about the planes hitting the twin towers. My parents have talked about remembering exactly what they were doing when they learned of JFK’s assassination. My dad even described what he was doing when, as a young, young boy, he found out that World War II had ended. [Because of rationing, his mom had told him they didn’t have enough eggs to make key lime pie as he’d requested. Some time later – days or weeks – a man drove by honking and yelling, “The war is over! The war is over!” Little Bob, ran in and told his mom, “You can make key lime pie now!”] Well, I’ll always remember standing outside the van, in front of those stores and hearing Mike quietly say, “Your dad” in answer to my question of, “Did someone die?”
- Canceling haircuts: Weird one, I know. But, considering I can write an entire blog about my hair, haircuts have maybe a little more importance to me than they should. I’d had a haircut scheduled with my girl, Karly, for months. You have to book weeks in advance, sometimes months (especially during the holidays) to get in with her (she’s that good – and she rocks at curly hair). I’d had an appointment for the afternoon of Tuesday, November 26th. I’d debated and debated (perhaps you remember rolling your eyes as you read my very self-indulgent hair-themed post on October 6th aptly titled “Hair” http://jenny524.blogspot.com/2013/10/hair.html ). I decided about a week before to just go ahead and cancel, give someone else the pre-holiday haircut and continue with my hairgrowth project before getting a trim (which is now scheduled for NEXT Tuesday). Now, I’m not superstitious, I don’t think that if I ever cancel a haircut again, a loved one will die that day, but I do think it’s weird that if I hadn’t cancelled it that would’ve been something to take care of (or forget about. Obviously, if I didn’t show because I forgot to call that’d be forgivable). But anyway, it’s just another thing that will always be ‘different’ to me.
- My eyebrows: Yes, you read that correctly: my dad’s death has affected how I look at my eyebrows. I’ve never liked them much. They’re too big and bushy for ‘girl eyebrows.’ I remember at one point, telling myself (lying to myself): “Look at Brooke Shields, she’s got larger(ish) – for Hollywood, anyway – thick eyebrows and they’re like her thing. She totally rocks them.” Well, I definitely inherited my more prominent eyebrows from my dad. Now, when I look in the mirror and see a wayward eyebrow hair, I think, “Thanks a lot, Dad.” (With a little less frustration and a little more amusement).
- Sunsets: Dad was really into sunsets. He never missed taking a photo of the really spectacular ones. When we were younger, especially on camping trips, he’d stand there camera-poised and ready and say, “Now? Now?!” (Especially to my oldest brother, Timothy). Then, when clicking through photo slides on the old projector, we’d humor him and mildly ooh and ahh at yet another sunset photo. He’d say, “Now?” everytime. Well, I kid you not, nearly everyday following his death for a couple of weeks, we had beautiful, cold clear December days followed by some of the most gorgeous, breath-taking sunsets. We’d admire them from mom and dad’s deck overlooking Lake Washington. On Thanksgiving night, Timothy and I both took pictures of it. The night of his funeral was perhaps the most gorgeous of all. “Now, dad, now.”
- O Holy Night: I’ve always loved this Christmas carol. It, after Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” is my second favorite (if sung well, of course). I’ve often thought and have occasionally said to Mike that I hope I die during Advent. It’s my favorite time of year and then I could have O Holy Night sung at my funeral. Dad’s funeral was December 11th, smack dab during Advent. We had beautiful music, although it didn’t include O Holy Night. The first time I heard that song come on the radio, post-November 26th, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around a certain line and how immediately it pulled at my heart. The priest, describing what happened to dad said (basically), “Bob took a couple of steps down my driveway, fell to his knees in front of the statue of Mary and died.”
Fall to your knees and hear the angel voices.