Dad's memorial was amazing. My sister-in-law told me that it would be hard but that I would look back on the day as a nice one. She was right. We aren't sure how many people came but we're pretty sure it was over our 250 person estimate.
Mom is NOT a fan of entertaining because it stresses her out but she did very well. At one point she got a little dizzy because she hadn't eaten anything. Luckily she was talking with an old friend when it hit her and the friend insisted she sit down and eat something. She did and recovered quickly.
I saw so many wonderful friends from my life but was disappointed that I didn't get to spend much time with all of them. It took me over an hour to get down to the lower yard because so many friends and family stopped to chat with me. That was nice.
I heard lots of funny/nice stories about Dad that I'd never heard before. I swear every one of my brother's friends had a story about Dad talking them into carrying large stones up and down the steps to help him build his stone walls in the backyard. They also talked about what an amazing basketball player he was when they were in high school and college and how they could never beat him... losing often meant carrying those damn rocks . Several birders stopped to tell me about how they began birding and eventually worked in fields of conservation because they happened to run into Dad when they were beginning birders and Dad showed them the bird they were chasing and their love of birding was born. Many men stopped to tell me that Dad had been a father figure to them and helped them through some very tough times. One man told me and Mom that our bathroom had special meaning to him. (?!) It seems that following his divorce he continued to wear his wedding ring. One day Dad said "enough", took him in my bathroom, soaped up his ring finger and made him take it off. The man said that that event was truly the beginning of him moving on after his split.
As for me, I'm doing alright. Mom and I refer to our crying jags at "meltdowns". I was doing ok but yesterday I lost it around 2:00 pm. That's about the time Dad would typically come home from a day of weekend birding. Not hearing the door open and him saying "Hey there!" was rough. I hung on until last night when I went into his office to turn on the backyard lights. The kids stayed over and wanted the lights on in case the bear walked by. (He didn't). Going into Dad's office was alright until I saw his slippers. Until last Christmas Dad never wore slippers. He had flat feet and most slippers just wound up hurting his feet. I did a little research this past Christmas and found some super cool slip on slippers with a lot of arch support. Dad loved them. Seeing those slippers in his office just set me off.
A surprising issue now seems to be exhaustion. I've been taking a "nerve pill" every night for the past week and a half and I think it's getting to me. I can barely keep my eyes open before noon. I finally gave in and took a nap this afternoon. It helped.
A silly source of comfort has been watching mindless tv. My current favorites are Seinfeld and The Andy Griffin Show. They couldn't be more opposite but they manage to gently take my mind off things. I've just ordered the complete Seinfeld series. My brother loves it too so I figure we can share it.
I'm planning on staying home the next week to be with Mom and to take care of some of the remaining tasks at hand. I may go into work for a bit on Thursday of Friday depending on how I'm feeling. I've got a follow up appt with my doctor to check on my stress and blood pressure. I can't imagine all of this is helping my blood pressure. That will be an interesting appt.
So that's where I am. Again, I'm still breathing. I can't explain why but loud non-stop noise is hard to manage right now so Mom and I are spending a lot of time together because so far we seem to be on the same trajectory on this journey. Mostly we just want to be lay low, be quiet, watch movies, talk a bit and get some rest.
My family and I have a wonderful set of understanding friends. They have been very comforting and have made us feel so loved. I will be forever grateful to them for that. Sadly, most of my dearest friends have been through this kind of loss. I have received very kind words of advice. Mostly, I've been told to just go with it and to not bother fighting my feelings. I believe that will be the best way to get through this. I know we will be ok eventually. I'll get to some more fun posts soon. Thanks for indulging me. I've found that writing or journaling helps me work through things. I suppose this public venue isn't appropriate but... whatever. It helps. Thanks for your patience.