To all of you who are expressing your condolences either here or on Facebook in the aftermath of our father's passing, thank you. It is immensely comforting to know that you are out there, reading and caring.
When I came home from the hospital, picked up the laptop, and sat in the dark writing the post made this morning, I was writing for personal therapy. It didn't occur to me that so many of you would read it so quickly. It was barely 8 a.m. in Hawaii when I started the round of calls to mainland family and friends. Without exception, everyone I called had read either my post or my brother's this day, or been contacted by a family member who read it. It makes the world a far more friendly place, and leaves me feeling not quite so alone and adrift.
My mother was more shaken by the news of my dad's death than I had expected. We just never know until an event happens how we -- or another -- will respond. It's tricky not to let those expectations get in the way of appropriate response. To my way of thinking, my mother needs to shed some tears. She is not there yet. She may never be there. Her tears may have been shed years ago.
Whatever the case, Mother is busy making lists, reading the Yellow Pages, still emptying closets, and directing the rest of us in the choices we should be making.
"No." This is used especially when a subject is distasteful to her.
To me, after listening to a conversation between my brother and myself about the canoe paddles in my father's bedroom: "I want the canoe paddle with his grandfather's name on it to go to Kimo, not to some museum."
To my brother the photographer: "Use an obituary picture that looks like he looked recently, like people will remember him. Don't use one from when he was young."
and over our Chinese take-out dinner this evening, "I hope Ian picks out a good picture for the obituary."
Ian, are you getting her message? :-)
Give thanks for the extraordinarily long and influential life of our father, John Montgomery Lind. Give thanks that he was finally able to let go. Don't forget to pray ....