Last night I made dinner for the future Mrs. and my mother. It was simple, nothing fancy, just dinner. They both came in and sat down at the table as I started to plate the meals. As I reached up to the cabinet my fingers found four plates. I had to stop and remind myself, not four, three. I pulled the three plates down and did the same for the silverware, three, not four.
Earlier in the day my mother gave me a card for my birthday. I had told her to save the stamp, to just bring it out when she stopped by to visit. It wasn’t the cost of the stamp I was concerned about, it was my reaction to the card. This would be the first card in which my father’s name wouldn’t be attached.
The card could have told me that I won a million dollars, or that I was adopted, or anything really, but none of it mattered. What mattered was me opening the card, which was extremely difficult to do. Inside there was just one name, Mom. I started to tremble a bit and she was up in an instant hugging me. That was just as difficult for her, maybe even more so, than it was for me. We stood in the kitchen crying together over our shared loss.
Dinner was quiet, just polite chit-chat. After the table was cleared and the trash was taken out, I made up an excuse to go and sit on the porch for a bit. It was warm in the house I said, and much cooler outside.
The house we bought is over 180 years old, but it’s new to us. We are still furnishing it, so my porch is bare save one of those folding chairs you can store in a little bag. It’s bright green, and looks out of place, but it’s comfortable. I plunked down to watch a storm move in and thought of how unprepared I was to lose my father.
It’s funny really. A friend and I often talk about the fact that schools really don’t prepare you properly for the real world. Sure, you learn calculus and history, which are important subjects, but it’s never about real world issues. There are no classes on how to deal with someone passing away. I only learned basic medical and CPR from taking a class I needed for one of my diving certificates. Hell, PE when I was younger was more about square dancing and dodge ball than proper exercise and nutrition. All important things you need to take initiative to learn but are needed by everyone. It’s a topic for another post I guess.
I went back inside and logged on to the blog. There aren’t many comments on here yet, but those of you who have posted provide support and understanding, which helps me out in these times. I can’t thank you guys enough.