Ten years is a long time. But it doesn’t feel that way about some things. My father dying when I was 18 in a plan crash was an abrupt bookmark in my life. I thought about what my life would be like in 10 years soooo long ago. So today, I’m letting go of a lot of things I thought ‘should be’ with grief. I’m forcing myself to shake off expectations I had and let those thoughts die. Because another 10 years is too long to hold my breath.
So I’m letting go of the idea that a memorial has to be one thing. Because it’s only me, I kept struggling with what does one person do as a memorial? And then it hit me. This doesn’t have to be a depressing day. This can and WILL be a joyous one. So I planned “the perfect day for my dad if he was alive” day. Chock full of stuff he would get a kick out of. And researching it, I started laughing too. Did anyone ever play Master of Orion? OMG, blood was shed over who got to play the game when my dad finally got off the computer. He played it at dinner. In bed. It sat on his chest when he finally fell asleep. So I researched if I could play it again (if anyone knows how, please please please email me) and realized it was released in 1993. I looked at screenshots and just felt so damn giddy. I started remembering my dad teaching me to play it. And then I knew I was on the right track.
So today I will:
- Have amazing gluten free pancakes with whip cream and strawberries. My dad made them for my brother and I every Sunday when we had visitation. I loved that over used waffle maker. My waffles became giant towers of whip cream. Plus mimosas, a favorite of my dad.
- The first books my dad ever gave me were the Lord of the Rings. I never read them because I got hooked on other scifi books he gave me but I’m starting the series today. I’m 20 years late, but who the hell cares?
- My dad was an adrenaline junkie. He did things that even as a kid I would yell in terror at him for. All the boys in the family have it. My brother races cars. Seriously. I didn’t get that gene but I’m going to be doing something way outside my comfort zone. Natalie is planning this part so I can’t chicken out.
- If I can get things working, I’ll be playing Orion. For hours. If not, Civilization was also just as addictive for him.
- My dad built his own company from our basement. So I’m going to give myself a little high-five for following him in that and work on my mission statement a bit. Where do I want to go?
- And lastly, old faithful Chinese food and a scifi movie. A staple of my childhood.
The one thing that cements the day as a memorial is the fact I’ll be saying prayers by a lovely lake that is a bit of a hike. Me, Natalie, our dog and all those Hebrew letters taking me through the traditions of thousands of years. And then we’ll happily hike back home, snuggle, and I’ll explain Star Trek to Natalie.