The uncontrollable crying has become less frequent Dad, but you’re still heavy on my mind, pressure still on my chest, knots still in my tummy, and a huge void still in my heart.
Mom and I went to the funeral parlor to settle things with them. They are so unbelievably wonderful, helpful, personal, genuine. We really love them and they love us. Kris and her husband wish they could have known you. They missed out on a lot of laughter and great conversations. You were a mentor and teacher to many. The word “mentor” I do not say lightly. Mentor has a sacred meaning to it much more so than a teacher. Your intellect, wisdom, encyclopedic knowledge of anything you were really interested in in, your fast humor, stories, and puns, your creative sides, dad you had a lot of value that you added to peoples lives.
Jason came out to the funeral parlor after we basically had everything settled to say bye for now to you and see the body you temporarily occupied for 74 years. Its the visual representation of you that we have known and identify with that we miss along with everything else about you dad.
I had a few crying moments throughout the couple hours we were there. I’ll tell you about my biggest uncontrollable cry I had yesterday when we were settling things at the funeral parlor…
I wrote the personal check for your final expense. I wrote slowly and cried the entire time. Never have I taken so much time to write a check before and I hardly ever write checks anymore. I kept the carbon copy. I pressed hard to make sure I got a good carbon copy and I did. I even put a heart in the memo area along with a short description of the purpose of that particular check.
But here is the part of the check writing process where I broke down and cried the most…
I told them that we have a copy of the check that you wrote dad, for the adoption fee when you and mom adopted me when I was just a newborn baby and you’ve told me many years ago that it was the best check you ever wrote before in your life. And now here I was writing the final expense check for you dad. Oh wow I cried. The funeral directors were touched at the story! They believed you were right dad when you said that was the best check you ever wrote in your life for my adoption fees. Back in those days they use to send the checks back to you. They stopped doing that years ago now you can get images of sent checks. Today I won’t get the check back in the mail but I have that carbon copy and we still have the original check you wrote 40 years ago for my adoption fee. How amazing is that dad?
When we went to look at your old body you temporarily occupied one last time I recited the check writing story one more time and of course while looking at your old body that I visually identify with you I had one more uncontrollable cry before taking off with mom to the veterans office here in kenosha to get started on benefits for mom. The four of us in our bodies were together one last time dad. Three of us still occupying our temporary bodies, you’ve already vacated your body dad. While the four of us were there I quickly reflected on many other times the four of us were together such as long car rides to st. louis, various vacations, time spent at home playing games like aggravation, trips to uncle bobs and aunt claudias while you played cards and the rest of us kids ran wild in the basement, holidays, so much time the four of us have spent together over the years dad. I’m really happy about that. My final last words I spoke out loud to you, dad, to the body you once occupied for seventy four years, and with you listening to me from where you are now, was something like.. See you again shortly dad, ok? Thank you for adopting me. I really lucked out because I did not get to choose you. I got to write your final expense check 40 years after you wrote the check for my adoption fees. I love you. I really miss you badly dad. I probably said more I was really going on and on. The final last thing I said after all of that was the same thing I said to you while I last saw you one week ago today, “I’ll see you again shortly dad ok?” Then I walked out with mom to take her to the veterans office here in Kenosha to figuring out benefits for mom.
During our time at the funeral parlor we collected a beautiful vase and a couple of flower arrangements in baskets. Most importantly we collected your medals and ribbons from your distinguished career in the Navy. OH yes we have your USN tie clip too. Ohhhhh yes the sympathy cards, registry book, and some other things like that too. I really didn’t want anything else like the different flower arrangements and stuff like that. I don’t feel like I can stomach forming these emotional attachments to “stuff” I just want to cling to the memories and how I will move onward from here dad. The rest of the flowers will go to nursing homes which we are told are very much loved by the old folks. That’s really awesome! That’s where they should go then. The funeral directors husband is going to put some of the flowers over his grandpas grave. The funeral director was surprised at that! I thought that was pretty cool they are finding meaningful uses for these things that we don’t really need. Dad I know the family that owns and operates Bruchs funeral home does incredible word to help each and ever family and personalizes and handles so much for each of them… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I really believe they took on a particular heart felt interest in our family dad. Mom said she saw Kris, the funeral director, crying at one point. It could have been over something else I suppose. Who knows. Just the over all affection in addition to attention makes me belief shes great with every family she works with and helps, but ours had a particular special sense of intrinsic duty for her and her family to help and do for our family. I could be wrong but that’s what I think. Even after the expense is settled she’s still going to work with us when certain things come in the mail, with the death certificate which we are still waiting for, and other things. That’s amazing she is there for us that far out on a limb. Dad it feels like there really isnt all that much more to do to get everything settled. Its mostly just moms benefits. Right now we are waiting on the doctor to sign your death certificate so we can get all your accounts settled with mom and her benefits going. Apparently the doctor we are waiting on is the Hospitalist which as you know from your final hospital stay is a very busy doctor. Kris was hoping to have that signature yesterday along with the medical examiners report. So hopefully today then so we can move on these final things. I’m scared but also looking forward to getting past all this so we can begin figuring life out without you as we’ve always known you dad. How to figure everything out with your new status as Angel. My dad is literally an angel now. That’s pretty cool even though I’m still so sad and missing you so incredibly.
Last night was the poker league the day after your funeral. After Jason got things set up he was great. I didn’t play I just wanted to visit and be in the environment of it all. Something you really enjoyed dad was these poker league nights Big Dog Poker. The league you started with Jason. Now he’s figuring it out on his own. Lou Anne came with us. Michelle went with Aunt Claudia and having never played Texas hold ’em before in her life and not even knowing basic poker hands she almost made it to final table. Not bad Michelle! You use to call her Mikey I remember! You called Melissa, “Mel” and Michelle “Mikey” and it always made them laugh. Damn I miss that! Those little things. The big things. I miss everything. But today is a new day and tomorrow is always coming no matter what but in different unpredictable and sometimes very mysterious forms from what we are use to of yesterday. Dad I remember some of the talk about you at poker last night. One of your players said your favorite pocket had was a jack and ten because you seemed to get lucky with that hand. Others talked about and marveled in amazing at how you could count cards in your head and know exactly what everyone had in their hand that way and know exactly what to do based on statistical odds. I would say the proof if that is “in the pudding” because you won more than anyone in the league pretty consistently. Your brother, my uncle bob, was a brilliant mental card counter too. Anytime anyone went against you two they would get their clock cleaned and in a frustrating way, for them!!! LoL because they knew you what was in their hand, what was left in the deck, just based on your ability to count cards and remember it all in your head as each hand progressed and your opponents could not do that!!!! Yeah that frustrated them but they kept coming back for more probably because their fascination in your ability to do that over powered their frustration about it. Pretty cool dad. Pretty cool.
Dad I’m getting better. I’ll know for sure though after everything here is settled which I think will be soon. Otherwise I don’t know how I’m doing. I just know I think for now I am getting better.
It will never go away dad I’m always going to miss you and crave to see you again.
Like you said on your final days in the hospital, “It’s sink or swim.”
On facebook the other day I posted in a Heart themed frame box that facebook makes, “Every Birthday is 1 step closer to Heaven without discounting our short time on Earth – me
It got some cool heart felt comments, some likes, loves, shares. I’ve been sharing a lot of stuff like that and typing up big ole self expression storms like this with literally thousands of comments, likes, loves, a really good number shares and different engagements and interactions. I think as people learn more about you dad and the bond you and I have it’s helping people. How cool is that dad? So I’m going to keep doing this as I need to for my own therapy and just be completely open, forthright, even vulnerable about it all.
I even made a humors post about Boobs yesterday..LoL See dad I’m making progress. Everyone knows about my fascination with boobs I hope that never stops. I don’t think it will.
I’ll see you again shortly dad ok?
P.s. The cubs got knocked out of the play offs yesterday in a big ole upset in their own home town. 11-1 was the final score. So the world series this year in 2017 will be between the LA Dodgers for the national league and either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees for the American league. Let’s see how your life time favorite team does next year, the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ll be rooting for them for life dad right along with you. I probably still won’t really watch much or follow it but anytime I happen to see an inning or catch a headline about the cardinals ill sure be thinking of you mostly dad, and rooting for them to win right along with you as I always have. Oh yeah, the sport I have the least amount of interest in, football… Aaron Rodgers is out for the season with a broken collar bone I heard. I know you are a life long football fan, baseball, and basketball. You love the green bay packers. So What does this mean for them to lose their star player for the year? Can’t be good, I guess? Jason would know I’m sure. You have encyclopedic knowledge of these sports. Amazes me. You amaze me dad every day.