In my mother's grieving, in her fury, she lashed out to me about the people who had stopped calling, the people who'd avoid her at the grocery store, on the street -- the people who'd glance her way then quickly head in the other direction. She lashed out at all the people who seemed not to care... anymore.
I tried to reassure her that people cared that her husband had died. That maybe they cared too much. They just didn't know how to behave. They didn't know what to do, what to say. It's too big. Too scary.
It's been a week since I got the news that Al Weisel passed away. And I still can't believe it. I simply cannot believe it. And I've thought about him every day, even when I wrote about not winning a writing contest. Even when I learned more about how to write about my life by not thinking it's all that interesting. Even when The Skimmer and I were talking about my new header design and I thought maybe the cute cartoon woman who has no feet should be bigger. And he said, "You always have an opinion!" And I said, "Well, of course I do!" And he said, "Whatever!" And I said, "Whatever!" And then I thought, Don't be such a touchy creative type! But I didn't say it out loud.
I thought about Al this morning as I was pouring a cup of coffee, thinking about how he much he drank tea. The way I think of my stepfather when I'm filling up my gas tank, remembering the times I drove him crazy when I was a teenager and would forget to put the gas cap back on after I had pumped the gas. He had to replace it a million times.
I'll be going about a normal day and something will make me think about my best friend's mom. Or her dad. Or Brando's friend. Or Brenda's mom and dad. Or Adorable Girlfriend's grandmother, Kathleen's sister, Dennis Perrin's sister-in-law, Jennifer's sister-in-law, Nicho's father, Steve Kuusisto's mother and father, Patti Digh's father and stepfather, the paternal grandmother and grandfather I knew as a young girl, or the maternal grandmother and grandfather I never met.
I've been thinking of my mother's father, who died when she was just 15, when I've clicked over to Dr. X's blog lately.
What if that's him? Did he look like that? Did he feel taken advantage of? Did anyone care? Wonder what he'd think of me?
I'll never know what he'd think of me. But all I can do is think of him. It's the only thing left to do.
On Christmas Eve 2008 my stepfather was at hospice. And we had that talk. That talk, that time together that makes you want to rip your hair out wondering if it's better that he had time for that talk at all because he was suffering so much.
From his bed, he told all of us that he'd given it a lot of thought. And he knew that to be remembered is really the only thing that really mattered.
Remembering comes at strange times. But it's a part of all of our days. While pouring coffee. While filling up the gas tank. While clicking around the blogosphere. And no one else knows that we're doing it.
But we are doing it. We're remembering. We just don't know how to behave. We just care too much to talk about it very often.