Today is my dad's Death Day.
If life were an Episode of Red Dwarf, Marcus (and probably a lot of other folks) would be pissed, but aside from that, we'd be having a Death Day party for my dad. And he'd be sitting here with an "H" on his forehead while we all ate and drank and had a rousing good time. The only difference would be that he wouldn't be able to touch anything or eat anything. Come to think of it, that would be pretty rough on him because he loved messing about in the kitchen and creating new things, so maybe that's not such a great thing.
Unlike Billie Joe Armstrong, I wasn't a child when my dad died, and it wasn't unexpected - it took a little under 3 months from his diagnosis with cancer until his death. I was lucky enough to know my dad until I was 29, to have had a good relationship with him, to have heard him tell me that he was proud of me. What more could a person want?
If my dad hadn't died, he would have thought flash memory sticks were the coolest things ever. I'd have watched The Phantom of The Opera with him and then bought him the POTO DVD and the extended edition of the music soundtrack. I bet it would have been one of his all time favourite movies. He was a romantic at heart and would probably have thought Christine was überhot. And I would have watched the Coupling DVDs with him, too. He would have laughed his ass off.
He'd have gotten to see my third and fourth children: my son named after him, my daughter after a character in a book I think he probably would have loved. He hadn't really been into fiction until near the end.
I could have grilled him more about his childhood in India, China and Taiwan and asked him to tell me the story about the bee who "bit" him again.
He'd have gotten to see and hear my sister's group Navan's 2 CDs and know that they're working on their third. Their THIRD! :o) And that she was recording with The Getaway Drivers the other night.
I'd go visit him and my mom in South Dakota and we'd find that letterbox on Dinosaur Hill that we've walked right past, unknowingly, every time we've been there. He'd have seen me get a story and poetry published and photos accepted for further consideration. We could have talked cameras and lenses and shown each other our pics. We could have reveled in the amazingness of digital photography together. I could have asked him for tips on chess and lost innumerable games to him. I'd be able to hear all the new music he would have written, would have heard about his latest obsessions (usually technological gadgetry), gotten the lowdown on every new movie from him and so much more. But that is never going to happen now, because he did die. He had an amazingly complacent attitude about it through the very end - never wanting us to feel sorry or frightened for him. He said he was ready, at peace, willing; that he'd see us on the other side. And he will. But in the meantime, I miss him.
***Gordon Shigley: 8 January, 1941-19 March, 1999 *** Ruht Wohl