A 28th Anniversary

Dad

I remember his floppy salt-and-pepper sprinkled hair.

I remember his round belly.

I remember sitting at the dinner table with my Mom, brother and sister and my eyes lighting up when he would walk up the stairs from the garage in time to join us for dinner.

I remember that his specialty dish was scrambled eggs with scallions, topped with some homemade Chinese XO hot sauce.

I remember sitting at the piano and singing Scarlet Ribbons (for her hair) with him.

I remember that his drink of choice was Chivas on the rocks

I remember him learning how to ski with us – around age 40 maybe?

I remember his drawings and watercolors and his love of photography and spending hours in the dark room in our basement.

I remember going to his office and helping him file patient charts. I was paid a penny for each file.

I remember I was 8 years old 28 years ago.

At least that’s what I think I remember. 28 years is a long time to hold on to memories. And memories fade and mix together with what I think I remember, stories I’ve been told, and pictures.

OK, this isn’t exactly my usual happy and lighthearted Memories Captured contribution. I was planning one of those but it felt forced and not right when my mind has really been on these memories of my Dad for the past week or so. A heavy blanket settles in around 9th, a few days before this anniversary, sometimes making breathing hard. But it lifts. It always does.

While my Dad lives in the background of my thoughts always, January is the time when I stop and try to etch those memories a bit deeper into my mind. A defense against the passage of time? Perhaps.

{Linking up with Alison and Galit for Memories Captured.}

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Comments

    • admin says

      Thank you. You are absolutely right – memories are important to hold on to. I don’t share them often – partially because it’s been so long but you’re right, I need to do that more.

  1. says

    I didn’t know. I noticed you’ve always mentioned your mother (and not your dad) and I now know why. I lost my stepmother when I was 16 and she was the closest person I ever had as a mother figure (M is named after her) and I understand that dull, heaviness that goes away sometimes and pummels you other times.

    I’m glad you have crytalized memories and it’s so lovely of you to share them here. It’s hard to be that open but you will be glad you did on a day when you feel a little lost and want an anchor.

    Sending you love.

    PS – This made me teat up. xo
    Melissa Burton recently posted..Sounds of Saturday – INXSMy Profile

    • admin says

      Thanks Melissa. I know, I don’t think that I talk about it a lot or I tend to evade the question :-) I’m sorry to hear about your stepmother but it’s wonderful to be able to honor her memory through M.

    • admin says

      You’re right – it is good to look back and remember. I don’t consciously do it enough. Maybe because it’s been so long?

    • admin says

      Thanks Amanda. It’s funny. I sat down to write this and it was all those little moments that stuck out in my mind. I mean, scrambled eggs and scallions?? But I’m happy that I have those memories.

    • admin says

      Thank you Kerstin. I hope so. I hope that the memories are etched a bit deeper and mostly, I hope that this gives my kids a picture of who their grandfather was.

    • admin says

      Thank you Kristin. I love that idea – that memories get better when they are tangled with other shared memories. There’s a part of me that started to become sad when I couldn’t tell for sure which memories were “real” and which were based on stories and pictures. But your right, that only helps the memories to grow and to stick.

  2. says

    Oh Christine, I had no idea you were so young when you lost your dad. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you. This is such a beautiful post from your heart…I know what you are saying about memories mixing with stories and pictures. Sometimes I feel like I remember a certain day or event when I was younger but the truth is that it’s merely a memory of being told the story over and over again. The fact that you remember SO many details of him as you do is proof that his memory lives on completely in you. Thinking of you and your family and sending you hugs. xoxo
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Progression Run + Explosion of Thomas the TrainMy Profile

    • admin says

      Thank you Michele. It’s funny but because it’s been so long, it totally feels like it was a different life and in a way, makes it easy for me to not think about it and to separate myself from it. But it is an integral part of who I am and who I’ve become and that’s how is memory lives on. And in my boys, especially J. I see a lot of my Dad in him sometimes.

  3. says

    Aw friend…I’m glad you went about your post the way that you did versus writing one that didn’t feel ‘right.’ sending you lots of love as you navigate through the next few weeks of missing your dad more than ever.xoxo
    Jess recently posted..Ruminations (#2 of…)My Profile

  4. Maria (lift love life) says

    I’m so sorry Christine :( I can’t imagine losing a loved one at such a young age. Hugs to you my friend.
    Maria (lift love life) recently posted..Catching upMy Profile

  5. says

    I couldn’t imagine loosing my father a such a young age. My mom lost her mother when she was only 10, and my neighbors lost their father when the youngest was 12. Your dad would be so proud of you and your family. He was only with you for short time, but it’s clear he had a wonderful impact on you and the direction of your life! Hugs.
    Michelle recently posted..Lifestyle Photography is HardMy Profile

  6. says

    Your memories are beautiful, and yes, I believe we need to etch them deeper – to keep them close but also so that their legacy lives on for us and our kids. Christine, I walk with you today in your memories as well as your sadness. That heavy blanket feels a little bit lighter when there is company. xo
    ilene recently posted..Fifty Shades of ShadesMy Profile

  7. says

    ((hug)) this post is beautiful but sad at the same time. I am glad you wrote this and didn’t change it or hesitate there, it’s really beautiful and touching. thinkig of you! XO
    jobo recently posted..Quietly.My Profile

    • admin says

      January’s not too bad – usually just the second week of the month but then it passes. Thank you Katie for your kind words.

    • admin says

      Thank you Kim. I really appreciate it. It does help to write down and share these memories. It helps to make things a little lighter.

  8. says

    When I saw the photo at the top of the post I recognized it from the first time I read about your dad. I think our similar experiences with losing a parent so early was one of the first things that connected us.

    I was very moved by the things you remember….especially since you were only 8. Important memories remain fresh always!

    x
    Martha @ MarthaWills(dot)com recently posted..Getting Published at xojanedotcomMy Profile

    • admin says

      I went searching around for another picture to post but didn’t have one handy. I know that I have photo albums full of pictures but not exactly sure where they are right now…I remember reading about your Dad that first time too and literally stopping in my tracks by the similarities. I’m glad that gave us the chance to connect.

  9. says

    I learned more about you in this beautiful post. Thank you for sharing something so intimate. Your memories with your Father are lovely and, yes, 28 years is a long time to not have him. I don’t know why, but I know exactly what you mean about the heavy breath. Try to go for a run to clear the heaviness, breath and be certain that his angel wings are all around you, protecting and surrounding you from the heavens above. His spirit lies in everything natural, the waves that your ride, the bird that hops closes to you as sit in the park, the rainbow that shines when you think all hope is lost, the butterfly that lands on your window sill. He is with you, always.
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Kyle’s Krusade Virtual 5K, 10K and Half MarathonMy Profile

    • admin says

      Reading your comment the other morning made me cry. It was exactly what I needed to hear at the moment. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and firmly entrenched in my funk. And I read this amazing comment and you reminded me that yes, he is always with me and that brought me so much comfort. Thank you my friend for that. xox

  10. says

    My goodness. I just read Ilene’s post on her step dad and now yours…and my husband’s father passed away 1/16/05. His anniversary is coming, and I know my husband’s feeling it. (January is such a gloomy month for so many people.) I haven’t experienced the loss of a parent yet. I know I will one day, but for now, I cannot fathom what it’s like. I fear it, honestly. I love posts like these, though, because even though they’re painful and/or sad, they’re human and beautiful. Full of emotion, full of love, full of remembrance. Those are things that speak a lot of a person, and your remembrance of your father speaks words of who you are. “Holding on” for 28 years is not a bad thing…holding on to someone you love by remembering and having moments with them, however often you want to, is beautiful. You live your life fully while remembering who you are and who has touched your life. I love that about you.<3
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted..Plan of attack.My Profile

    • admin says

      Love you and your words. You’re right – holding on isn’t a bad thing. I guess that there has been a part of me that’s been worried that if I didn’t hold on tight enough. those memories would slip away. There’s a part of me that feels like I’ve been holding with a white-knuckle grip for the past 28 years. But I think that I’m learning that there’s a way to hold on that doesn’t have to feel so desperate. Thinking of you, your husband and your family this week too. xox

  11. says

    This is such a lovely ode to your dad.

    I’m so very honored that you chose to share it on Memories Captured!

    {In Judaism we say, “May his memory be for a blessing.” And although I’m not religious, that’s what these words all felt like to me – a blessing from you to him, and to your boys when they read this when they’re older.}

    This is lovely, friend.
    Galit Breen recently posted..Joining the allParenting Team!My Profile

    • admin says

      I am grateful for the chance to consciously capture these memories. I don’t do it enough or as often as I should so thank you.

    • admin says

      Thank you for sharing my memory with me. You are absolutely right and I am forever grateful for this opportunity to capture these memories in a more concrete way and to pass them along to my kids.

    • admin says

      Thank you Greta. I haven’t thought about them in a while, at least not in a conscious way like this. I’m glad that I had a chance to capture them.

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