Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Table for Every Taste (except good)

Are you in the market for a lovely new coffee table? Well look no further than your local Craigslist. You will find some remarkable offerings this week and you may even get a "deal."

OK I sort of like this one-very rustic

I think I saw this at Haverty's

Maybe at a beach house....maybe....

Really? REALLY!

Does the trash on the floor come with it?

Hand painted? I assumed this lovely piece was mass marketed.

There aren't enough beach houses.

I hope this is one of a kind

"Let me out"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Grief

I have never lost anyone before. Except for my favorite Grandma who passed away when I was 25. She was probably my favorite person in the whole world. But she was over 90 and she pretty much committed old person suicide (meaning she stubbornly starved herself to death). I have slowly mourned her passing for years-I have wonderful memories of her and I miss her terribly but I never grieved for her.

So I was totally unprepared to lose my father this past weekend. I knew he was ill. Only days before he had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. I spent a day coping with this. I cried. I worried. I knew he wouldn’t have long. I tried to imagine all the helpful things I would do to comfort him in the months to come. I sent photos and had my children draw get well cards. The cards never made it.

On Saturday I got a call. My father had passed away instantly and painlessly in his favorite comfy chair in the company of friends. We should all be so lucky. BUT I selfishly wanted more time. I am grateful my father was saved the agony of slowly dying from cancer but I had so many plans-so many questions-and so much left unsaid. I didn’t get to say goodbye.

My father and I certainly didn’t have a Norman Rockwell relationship. He left my mother when I was 5 or 6. Some years I only saw him once or twice. Dad always took care of me-but he wasn’t necessarily “there” for me. As I grew older we grew closer. He visited more often, doted on the grandchildren, and we talked on the phone more often. Sometimes I was annoyed to have him around-sometimes I anticipated his visits. I often wondered if I would feel anything at all when he died, if I would be sad. Now I know.

Nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent. There is no way to describe to desperate, finite feeling that comes with knowing a piece of you is gone. I don’t think it matters how close you were in life-the loss of a parent signals that you are all alone in this world-you are on your own. And it solidifies, as if there were any doubt, that physical existence is fleeting.

And the saddest things are the little things. My perpetual subscription to Readers Digest, a yearly gift from Dad, will stop coming. I’ll miss the flowers that he sent every birthday and Christmas (an extravagance I would allow from no one but him), and the silly musical cards he sent the kids for every possible occasion. And maybe even more I’ll miss never being able to ask any more questions about family history, the subtleties and details lost forever.

On Saturday I have to attend a memorial service. Dad wasn't big on funerals-the service will be at his home. He was quite pragmatic about death. I know he wouldn't want me to take it too seriously. Still I don't feel ready to say goodbye so for now I will say so long until we meet again.

Grier Yoder in the 1930's

US Air Force Air Traffic Control

Loving Grand Father