Today is Father’s Day. People all over the world will have dinners with their kids and dinners with their parents. Last year on this day, we went to a friend’s home so we could all celebrate together. Evelyn had invited some friends over to swim, so she didn’t come with us, which was fine, because she would have been bored and we weren’t going to be gone very late.
When we got home, I went in the back room. She was watching an old movie on TV. We made some small talk, she told me Happy Father’s Day and that she loved me. I said thank you and told her I loved her. Then I went to bed.
I don’t remember much about any conversations that we had over the next couple of days. I just remember the night before she died and how late it was and my wife and I had to go to work. I just remember waking to the sound of the NPR station talking about the accident.
I remember walking by the accident scene on my way to catch my bus. I remember the call from my wife telling me that I needed to come home, that something had happened to Evy.
All I can remember from our last interaction, is telling her that I loved her. I’m glad that I got to tell her that and I hope she believed me.
It hasn’t gotten any easier.
Evelyn’s name resonates inside my skull like tribal drums playing on an infinite loop. Each syllable beating out a rhythm, competing with the ringing in my ears.
Sometimes I sit in the back and listen to the trees rustle and the birds sing. My mind tells me that she is gone, but my heart hopes that there is a part of her with me.
My son is a wonderful, intelligent young man. I am proud of him and the way he is coping with his own loss. His sister. I am proud of him that he can go to school, study, and pass his classes. I am also proud of the person he is becoming.
This Father’s Day is bittersweet. Full of memories of what was, what is to come, and what will never be. As time passes, I hope they will become less so, but for now I will just have to learn how to live with what they are.
About the Photo: This was a photo of us taken on my birthday in 2009. We were celebrating at Disneyland.