Jonah calls my father “Pa.” My dad called his grandfather pa, so it’s a tradition passed on.
For Father’s Day, my dad and I went to 9am Mass at the church I used to work for, then out to breakfast and to place silk flowers on his dad’s, his grandfather’s, my grandfather’s, and some other family member’s graves. My dad wants to tell me their stories, share the history of the Wink family. I’d like to compile it all into a book with pictures and anecdotes and all the tales he’d love to tell – if only to have it all in writing, to pass down to the younger generations.
I know it freaks him out to see his name and birth date next to his mother’s, but he said he didn’t want her to be alone, and his dad is buried in a different place:
I put small red flowers on my other grandfather’s grave, because they reminded me of how I always called him “poppy:”
I’m not a big ‘cemetery frequenter’ but they are good for reminding me to remember, to keep people alive in my memory.
The next day my dad e-mailed me to tell me what a good Father’s Day he’d had, and how much it meant to him. It meant a lot to me, too – but my day wasn’t over yet. M did not get to have his children with him for Father’s Day, so he helped me watch Jonah to give Andy a few hours’ break. We mostly drove him around. He was pretty good for us, we saw a train or two, let him direct our path – and request different music: clapping song? he asks, meaning Cake’s album, Comfort Eagle,
- although he’ll listen to the whole CD, what he really means by clapping song is song #2, a song called Meanwhile Rick James which, without printing up the lyrics, appears to be a song about chicks doing lines of coke in the bathroom at a party while Rick James “takes her nude, and there’s nothing I can do.” It’s not Sesame Street we’re jamming out to, but all Jonah knows is it has lots of these clapping sounds throughout, and he loves that.
Then we go to see red barn in Guilderland, go up up up to Berne, all around Thatcher Park and Warner Lake, and finally go home, back to daddy and take bath.
It has been another difficult few days since then, mentally, for me. The fact that in less than a week I will know if and when he will be accepted into the Anderson Center for Autism, the fact that if they can take him it will likely be very soon, and the question marks of how the direct care staff, at any facility, will treat him. I fully intend to somehow augment their undoubtedly meager salaries, because they do the really hard stuff – they get kicked, beat, hit, scratched, puked on. They clean shit off the walls. There isn’t much of a break from it. I am so grateful for dedicated people who work in this capacity with these disabled individuals. If I were rich I would donate a few million dollars and demand that it be allocated to staff salaries.
I lost it so ridiculously this morning about the impending surrender of our son, and a whole lot more I don’t want to write about – intense anger directed at me by more than one person, a surreal feeling of floating above this whole situation, the terror of the very real possibility of my inability to come out the other side…that it was very hard to “keep it together” at work.
I bounce back every time, though. Seeing the graves reminded me to embrace the good, even if I have to draw it from my past for a while – my sweet, cuddle-boo…
…for soon enough it will all be gone — for all of us — all the fear, the worry, the joy and pain, all of it gone.
Unlike Trix, death is for everyone!
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“Live in the now!’ ~Garth, Wayne’s World
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