March 25, 2010
It's strange to think about it now, especially as I hurriedly run around packing for a trip today. I used to be acutely aware of this date every year. For the first few years, I would actually make the drive out to Robert Lee, Texas, thenothing little West Texas town where he's buried. It's been a long time since I've been out there, though. After I moved away from Texas, I think in some ways I moved away from some of my grief as well. It's one of those boxes I never entirely unpacked once I returned.
Even now, I'm not sure that "grief" is the right word. We had a complicated relationship, to put it mildly. When he died, my father left a lot of family strife and unanswered questions; he suffered a massive heart aneurysm and was almost certainly dead before he hit the ground. We were all subsequently denied any sort of dramatic, confessional death bed scene, but honestly, I don't know that it would have been any easier if he'd lingered. My father wasn't very good at expressing his emotions, and he was especially bad at processing guilt. I suppose in some ways, I am, too.
I could write so much about my father, but I don't think I'm even going to try today. I'll simply say that I'm not sure that I miss him exactly, but I miss having the feeling and the possibility that there might be a day in the future where he and I could figure things out, and I might know for certain, in a way that I absolutely don't know now and maybe never have known in my life, whether or not my father loved me.
If I only get one thing right with Schuyler, it will be that she will never have to wonder such a thing.