Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Remembering My Father

At sundown on Tuesday I lit a yahrzeit for my father, as we mark the 20th anniversary of his death. It's hard to imagine that 20 years has passed since that sad early morning of March 14, 1992, but it has. I was only 39 years old when my father breathed his last breath, and soon I will be 60. I think a lot about time, always have. When I was young and my favorite cousin would come to visit with us, I would count the hours she was there, and then count them when she'd left. I think I was eight when I calculated that a week was 168 hours long. When I held the numbers like that, it made the anticipation and separation containable, hours and seconds seemed knowable to me, less painful than days and years.

My father has been gone for less than a billion seconds. Seems like a blink of an eye, doesn't it? We don't even breathe a breath a second, I feel like I could almost recapture him just by remembering the air. I wrote a poem for him once that ended:

...in spirit they say you are everywhere
yes, everywhere everywhere
but here...

But now, I look around and see that that's not true. My father is everywhere and here. Not in spirit, but in fact. Nothing is ever lost. Oh thank you for that "The Law of Conservation of Energy." I do take great comfort and solace in that reality. Still, I wish that he were in his body, laughing and eating his favorite foods, dancing the shimmy with his crazy shoulders and doing the cha cha with my mom, loving his family like a man who knew he would always be remembered.
Burning Candle

23 comments:

  1. Robin, your post is a beautiful tribute to him, and in many ways, all your posts are a tribute to him and all those you keep dear to your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice! He was a lucky guy to have a daughter like you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Memories are good. They're proof that we all live on in the people we love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I cherish your annual yahzreit for your father. What a lucky man to be kept alive so lovingly. I feel like I'm only beginning to know him.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a lovely remembrance of your father, Robin. As my then 5 year old grandson said at my mother's memorial service, "If you love them, they live in your heart."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its hard to loose a dad, but especially hard at a young age. You gave him a beautiful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The burning candle......beautiful memorial post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A lovely tribute. My dad would have been 108 on the 11th. He's been gone since 1995 and I still think of him nearly every day.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A beautiful tribute to your Father! You were very fortunate to have such a loving and beautiful relationship with him and he was indeed fortunate to have a daughter like you!

    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow, 20 years. Forever, and yet, also a blink of an eye. I always love hearing about your father when you pay tribute. Such a great love there, then and now.

    You are blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful post. You know, I was thinking just the opposite the other day, observing that our essences dissipate as those who remember you blink out like spent candles. I guess that's natural, and unseemly attempts to "be remembered" are ultimately folly.

    I've thought of life in terms of the atmosphere: when we're young, we're protected from the caustic and corrosive universe by a thick and viscous layering of the still-living generations before us. Their existence reassures us of how much living we have left. As they die off, we're more and more exposed, until there's no escape from the glare of your age, decrepitude and death. Lost an uncle last week. My last protective layer is shredding ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such beautiful memories you have of your father robin and so eloquently recalled.
    My Dad has been gone 26 years and I still think of him. The father/daughter relationship is so very special.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Loving tribute to your father. My own father died when my children were quite young. They have no memory of this wonderfull grandfather. That may have been the saddest part of losing him.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A moving memorial to your dad; funny you should mention that energy law. My dad used to cit it, and said he figured after he was gone his energy would be whisking aruond the universe.
    I like to think of them checking out various marvels out there...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lovely remembrance of your father, Robin.

    I think about time in a way similar to the way you have described. Some ways of marking off time seem more bearable. My dad will have been gone 13 years this week. Don has been gone more than 3 1/2 years. I'll soon be older than he was when he died. Something seems a little odd about that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. When I think of immortality, I think of sentiments like this.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That brought tears.

    Love is eternal. It shapes our world, makes it a better place. Your remembrances of your father remind the rest of us of our loved ones who have passed on, and our love flowers again, and so the world continues to be blessed by love.

    I still miss my stepfather every day. Another good man, and I know your father and he would have hit it off!

    ReplyDelete
  18. With each year that passes, we learn a little more about your father. Each year I am moved by your remembrance of him. Wonderful photo!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, so lovely! Thanks for sharing your dad with us, Robin.

    ReplyDelete
  20. love just keeps on keeping on, doesn't it? that is the glory of it. posts about your dad are always so touching to me. i have always longed for a father i could love without reservation, one i could emotionally depend on to be careful with my heart, one i could trust. you are so fortunate to have had such a man in your young life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ((( robin ))) i miss my dad, too.

    my kids knew him and adored him, and vice versa, but dad's been gone nearly 9 years now. still -- i can see him in some of them; can see how he affected me, and then them; can see those traits of him show up in them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I, too, think about time a lot--but not in quite the same detailed attention to the minutes and seconds. Your lovely tribute makes me wish I had been closer to my father...

    ReplyDelete