March Madness

March 3-17: The Celebrations

  • On March 3rd, I finally found out my income for this past fiscal year, and it was good news.
  • On March 5th, I celebrated my raise by buying a 4WD car that should be able to make it up our hill in the snow (unlike my previous car that got stuck in only a few inches of snow 3 times in the past year !).
  • On March 7th, we celebrated my son’s 17th birthday with a big family dinner.
  • On March 12th, we bought my son a gently used car from CarMax.
  • On March 17th, I stayed home from work to take my son to his driver’s license ceremony at the city courthouse.
  • On March 17th, my Dad emailed me a lovely poem.

(A wooden toy my Dad made when my kids were younger)

 March 17-25: The Madness

  • On March 17th, I got this phone call from my Dad’s wife:
    “The paramedics are here–It doesn’t look good.”
  • On March 17th, my priest prayed with us as the hospital:
    “Into your hands, O God, we commend your servant . . . .”
  • On March 18th, we went to the funeral parlor to make arrangements.
  • On March 20th, I broke down in church when my Dad was mentioned among “all who have died.”
  • On March 20th, we visited my Dad’s wife to talk, hold each other, and cry.
  • On March 21st, I returned to work for 3/4 days and was overwhelmed by the kindness and support of friends and colleagues.
  • On March 23rd, I picked up the Death Certificates and visited my Dad’s wife to talk, hold each other, and cry (again).
  • On March 25th, I picked up the Certificate of Creamation and was haunted by the words from the Ash Wednesday service:
    “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  • On March 25, I prayed for my Dad (who didn’t want a formal funeral service):
    “Our Father, Who art in heaven . . . .”
    “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . . .”
    “. . . I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

(Flowers from my sister-in-law on the front hallway cabinet my Dad made)

March 26–> The Mourning

  • On March 26, I woke from a violent dream, knowning that I was trying to process the anger that hasn’t surfaced by daylight.
  • On March 27, I woke thinking that I hadn’t dreamed about my Dad, but then caught images from my dreams that proved me wrong.
  • On March 27, I quietly savored the words of the prayers we said in church:
    “. . . comfort . . . all those who, in this transitory life, are in . . . sorrow”
    “we bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear”
  • On March 28, I re-read my blog post from my son’s birthday dinner and cried (I didn’t write about my Dad, but it was the last time we were together).
  • On March 31, I threw out the last of the fading flower arrangements and collected the condolence cards.
  • On March 31, we visited my Dad’s wife to pick up the last piece of furniture he worked on, because it’s been making her too sad (and we talked, hugged, and cried).

(The chest my Dad stripped of thick white paint and refinished)

What could be more madness than starting the month celebrating life with my Dad, and ending the month learning to adjust to life without him?

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9 Responses to March Madness

  1. SuperBabe says:

    ((Coco))… I smiled seeing the wonderful wooden creations – my runner uncle made a cute little desk when he was in high school… in the mid 1940s… which now sits in my parents' house… stuff like that always makes me think that people never actually *leave* completely… other than their children, there will always be the many other people whose lives they touched, and the objects… who probably will be around longer than any of us will… I hope you smile every time you look at those wonderful pieces of furniture… I'm thinking of you…

    • Coco says:

      Thanks, Sary. The clown always made me smile – it has so much personality. We have so many things to treasure that my Dad made for us, from kids' puzzles to a mouse-shaped cutting board to furniture–including a custom-made desk that he made when I graduated from law school (wow! I just remembeered that, I've had it for so long . . . ). I am so glad that he made us things for gifts, because they are that much more meaningful than anything he could have bought for us.

  2. Many {{{{hugs}}}}. Your dad was blessed to be so loved by you and your family. May his memories live forever.

  3. {{{{{Coco}}}}}

    I'm crying tears with you. All those little things that made our Dads…our Dads. My Dad made these little cat carvings to look like the two cats I used to have, Dude and Claude. Neither of them are with us any more but I now have Bella and Starla and maybe not so much by accident they look like Dude and Claude and so the carvings still match.

    And then there's the metal fly…and the pictures he created from old pictures of us. And the video I have of him singing the National Anthem with his granddaughters.

    Big hugs…

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