A Memory Spot

Updated: Nov 23

I am back in my noggin again. I cannot stop contemplating the past. I find when I get like this - I dream about him lots, lose sleep, and review things in my mind repeatedly.

Like the hamster wheel, I have noted before. 'Hamster thinking' is stinking thinking. It is when you go around and around in your mind like a hamster on a wheel. I remember. Everywhere I glance in town, I feel a Dad memory.

I did this with Dad. I walked around there. He never showed up here or there. I said this or that. He pissed me off; I pissed him off. Around and around again.

I hopped back on my hamster wheel even though I thought I was moving ahead. Maybe it is because of September 1st, his sobriety date. Dad would say if I wished him a Happy Birthday on the day he was born - "Thank you, but I consider September 1st my 'real' birthday." This directs my memories to comments like AA is my family, and so on.

It is what it is - yet my mind still goes there.

Different family conversations and statements have been known or heard recently regarding travelling to Dad's hometown on the 1st of September. That same day some of his ashes were spread at his favourite sitting spot near the beach. I can comprehend the longing to travel to this location and why there are rumblings of a marker of some sort at the beach- a bench, a plaque, something. And once again, I can appreciate and respect that. Dad wanted his ashes there.

When I consider it, it is good that I no longer maintain the hefty load of Christianity. 'Spirituality' as Dad, an adult and recovery member, often spoke about.

'I am spiritual, not religious.' he would say. (I personally let this burden go, which is another blog entry.)

Life circumstances can change you.

We do not have a location to 'visit' his remains as a family. Dad does not have a marker, a site, or a grave, where one can have a conversation during times of sorrow, celebration, advice-seeking, a place to vent, and simply a place to lay flowers.

Another reason holding no true faith in an afterlife is beneficial because I do not feel the overwhelming need to torture my mind with the fact that - Dad requested his entire remains scattered at the beach, none in trinkets, none stored away in baggies or boxes. I can let it go because Dad is gone and have comfort in the notion that whatever brings serenity and comfort to the living - is okay.

Dad is not troubled- he feels nothing, he is nowhere, he is gone.

Another rationale owning no profound belief in an afterlife can benefit me as I do not deem the need to dwell on the thoughts that race through my head, speaking to the idea that why did Dad or anyone else think about the reality that perhaps because he lived 50 + years of his life away from his hometown in a memory packed location where he raised a family, where his adult children, grandchildren, and widow resides maybe a bench site also located here would be helpful.

Once again - I am grateful. I can let all this 'bullshit' go. Yet, I will admit that a part of me is longing for a special Dad place. I have hamster-wheeled ideas of a memorial garden, a bench, a rock, a stone placed here - where we are. I even repeatedly, since Dad died, thought and wanted to purchase a small lot of his formal land just for that. Silly, eh? A reflection spot, a memorial spot, a place to think of him. A memory spot. I didn't have the financial means to purchase his small lot when it was for sale without strapping us too much. I could now - however it sold. It sits empty - growing weeds and long grasses. Dad took such great pride in this space. I even searched for the name of the lady who purchased the lot, and I am debating on reaching out to her if I can find contact information. What is wrong with me?

I state I am not spiritual, but why do I think of ways to design a memory space, a site that honours his life? An area to spread flowers, to talk, to seek advice? Why does this haunt me? Like I said, what is wrong with me?

In due time, my hope is that this feeling will fade. I think I am just trying to hold on to anything of his that may remain. I can't let go of the silly papers he lugged around, letters, cards, plaques, articles of clothing, anything that was special or had meaning to him. I cannot let things be thrown away.

I miss the thought of him dropping by with a Tim's coffee in hand. I miss how happy he was to see me near the end of his life. How his wife would get me to wake him from his nap because he mentioned to her how much he loved being woken by me. I miss the feeling of importance to him. I miss the knowing he was there. The doting on my children when we visited. 'Do you want a bar, by?, a can of pop?' 'Give me that Goddamn phone!'

Oh, the joking! How I could tease him and push his buttons in fun. Maybe sometimes a little over the top I must admit. The passionate way he talked about certain topics, oh how we would laugh. I loved that about him.

But most of all I miss his dance. He was full of energy at family gatherings where dancing was involved. The weddings, anniversaries, single dances, how he 'tried' to teach me to dance and keep up with him. Impossible. Dad danced.

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