I got up at 7:30, it felt like 6:30. I learned yesterday that Arizona, like Saskatchewan, opt-out.
I had no idea Arizona had dairy farmers who couldn’t make their cows milk an hour earlier. Or is that later?
Some days readers must wonder what has overcome me – because I write about what is on my mind, what is in my belly or what is on my agenda.
Today that’s time-change and times that are a changing. Some little changes. Many little changes. Large ones too.
It would be perverse to suggest, today, that my mind is far from my dad. At the same time, so many other things – routines, tasks, deadlines and serving clients – invade my mind and remain heaped on my work plate. They will wait. Not long, but they will wait today. Some things will get done, so many others will resume tomorrow but their relative importance will have shifted.
My mind isn’t scrambled – more a cross between over-easy and sonny-side up!
At my dad’s condo yesterday, dealing with trash, perishable food, gathering up some paperwork – going room to room I wondered if, when I grow old, if I’ll become pack-ratlike, saving every little thing – or if I’ll just be weary of life and lack energy to take care of those things?
In any case, I did have a funny time calling Shaw (cable, phone, internet). The fellow understood my request to shut off phone service (because my dad had died), to leave the internet on so I can use the computer when I’m there and to turn off the cable TV. All that went well, until he offered to sell me additional TV channels at a special price. I asked him why he would want a dead man to buy more channels? My dad would get a kick out of that.
I’ve not travelled much the last few years. Some of that has been economic, but to a larger degree it has been because of my dad. Yesterday was the first day I can remember in a long time when thinking about a getaway of any kind became feasible. I miss Hawaii, of course, but I miss a two-nighter in the mountains. I miss going to Edmonton for an overnight. Gusta misses long-weekend road trips.
I’m thinking Narcisse is April, extended weekend golf-getaway in May, Hawaii this fall or maybe sooner …
This feels part selfish, part relief.
Part invigorating, liberating and calming.
OK .. I got that out.
Good question – there are so many things to take care of. That starts today. The hard part is there are so many (government, utilities, banking, bills etc.), and that there are so many items on my list.
The easy part, is that most are ‘once-and-done’ items.
Life will appear to me as normal again soon.
I’m certain of that.
But, it will never ever ever ever be the same.
He’s gone, never to be forgotten. As I looked around his place – checked in cupboards and drawers there is enough mix of good things and junk, current things and things that should have been tossed years ago, bank statements in sock drawers and packages in cupboards that were old when he moved them in 14 years ago. None of it will be quick, and this seems like a very good thing right now . . .
P.S.: Reading and replying to so many notes from readers – some close, some very far away, some I know very well, some I’ve never heard from before – was so wonderful to receive. Similar thanks to so many who called, so powerful to hear your supportive and caring comments. Thank you all. I’m honoured, And my dad would be so pleased.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 0C/32F, shower/flurries predicted – a warm week a head, woo-hoo! ..but still very slick as yesterday’s melt froze ever so smoothly. Even Gusta was walking gingerly.
I also lost my dad in 1994 after a long illness. The time that we spend with our loved ones at the end, whatever time that may be, is invaluable, because life is invaluable no matter what the condition the person is in. You dad will be grateful to you always for being with him to the end. The message you give is important to those contemplating shortening life by a lethal injection- do not go that route. Life is too precious. We are defined by loving and being loved, caring and being cared for, PS, Lachine, Quebec
Hi Mark: Sorry for your loss. Thank you for your poignant message today. I am confident you have the tools to handle your sorrow. All the best to you as you grieve your father. Lucky you to have such a great man in your life. Sincerely, SG, Calgary, AB
My thoughts will be with you today and in the days to come, MLD, Memphis, TN
Our deepest condolence to you and your family. May the Great Architect of the Universe bless his soul. Amen, JA, ?
Morning Mark, Just sat down with coffee in hand to have a read and the words I read have saddened me. I am fully aware as to how you feel and offer you my heart felt sympathies. My Dad left me just 4 years ago and reading your words took me back to that moment in a flash. It was great Mark, that you had all “those extra years” and time for all those extra conversations and time to make plans. Your father was a great role model and teacher as seen in the man that you are. Mark, you are a man of integrity with a great work ethic. Qualities that your father saw in you. Qualities that he demonstrated and instilled within you over his years of parenting you. These are qualities that have endeared you to me as my friend for these 30+ years. When you feel like it know that I am here and we can grab some time for a talk. Sincerely, JJ, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark, I had to cry before I could reply to your Musing this morning. Thank you for your sharing your life with your Dad as well as your final moments with him. I’ve learned much from your honest writing as you’ve shared the experience of your journey through life. I’ve felt less alone in my journey. Best wishes, JL, Calgary, AB
Mark. My sincerest condolences on your father's passing. I enjoy your columns and learning about your relationship with him. Remember a life well lived and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you may see each other again. All the best to you and your family, BM, Littleton, CO
Wow Mark, of course there are truly NO words to make it any better, however I will say how extremely lucky you are to have someone who you admire so much and have learned so much from. I'm sorry for the passing of your father but sounds like the 2 of you had so many great times to remember and pass on to your grandchildren, the body leaves but the spirit lives on and on through you, his one and only wonderful son. I wish you great strength in the following weeks, MM, Arlington Heights, IL
Hi Mark - Just read your column. May you have peace at this time, KR, Calgary, AB
Mark - all I can say is that I am so sorry for your loss. From all your musings it was very clear there was a good and strong bond between you and a love that was shared. I know you will miss him. I'll be thinking of you. Regards, MK, Calgary, AB
Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts. A very touching tribute. Sending deepest sympathy and from what you've said about your Dad you have a lot of wonderful memories. Keep them close to your heart. He truly lived a full and rich life with his feet planted firmly on the ground-"salt of the earth", LK, Calgary, AB
Your dad would have loved the words you have so boldly and lovingly put to paper at this time. He is watching you and smiling. Thank you for sharing such a personal time in your life and knowing that your dad was happy to be with you for the past 15 years. He was lucky to have you in his life. I hope his spirit continues on in you and the memories bring smiles to your face. I send my condolences at this time and know that Hubert is no longer in any kind of pain. Sending hugs, CB, Calgary, AB
I'm sitting in the Phoenix airport waiting for my flight and catching up on musings. Your Remembrance of your Dad was moving and fitting and k.d.'s Hallelujah astoundingly beautiful. My heart goes out to you in your grief and relief that his struggles are over. Offering my condolences is the only thing I can do right now. Talk about feeling helpless. Love, CM, Calgary, AB
Mark – Your poignant tribute to your Dad can not be improved upon. We feel your sadness and at the same time your Dad’s peacefulness, as he continued to teach until the end, and most importantly, to have his loving son with him. I only met him a few times, but I can always easily remember him – he was a special individual. Today is a new day, but a hard day. We have lost our parents, yet annually we remember their birthday and their departing day. We are with you in spirit. Susan #3, SA, Edmonton, AB
I’m so sorry for your loss. Know that many people’s thoughts and prayers are with you thru this difficult time, DM, Calgary, AB
You have my deepest condolences on the passing of your Dad. Over the past few years I have been moved by your dedication to the care and obviously deep love you held for him. I had a very similar experience with my Dad but lost him 20 years earlier than you lost your dad. What I wouldn't have given to know my dad into his 90's. Having read your writings for many years, I feel like you have invited your readers into your life and I feel like I knew your Dad – at a distance – and share your grief. Today's column and the beautiful rendition of k.d. Land's Hallelujah brought me tears - tears of remembrance and love for my dad, and tears for you and your family for the sadness I know you all hold in your hearts today. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, MW, Calgary, AB
My condolences....he was way cool, KM, Melville, SK
I am so very sorry to hear the sad news of your dad's passing. From what I've read in Musings, he was a wonderful, kind person and I'm glad your daughters got to know him. Please take care of yourself and cherish all the memories and time spent with him, CR, Victoria, BC
Mark, I am so very sorry to hear of your Father's passing. Please accept my condolences, and I hope you will take strength from your friends among your Musing group, AK, Calgary, AB
My Deepest Condolences.I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. My dad died on 17 June 13 so the memories for are still very raw. I've had so many very close friends die in the past few years, it is really becoming truly unbearable, the last one most recently on 25 February 2014. Due to my own health issues, I unfortunately couldn't attend his memorial service, which was held on the BigIsland just this very afternoon. It is all so very, very sad. I guess at our age, this is what happens. By the way, my mum chose "Plan A" for my dad as well, although it wasn't at all what I wanted and I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to reconcile myself to her decision. I'd hoped to be able to do something very beautiful to keep my beloved Dad much nearer and dearer to my heart, as I was his only child and he meant absolutely everything to me. I guess as they say these days, "it is what it is"...... I can only hope that your Dad went peacefully: mine did not (I watched over every single moment of his last 86 agonizing hours and out of kindness, I will spare you the horrific details) but, even so, I consider it a great honor to have been able to escort him on this special final journey out of his earth body into his spirit body. I know that my Dad is waiting for me, just as your Dad is waiting for you. My Dad now watches over me every moment of every day, much better than he ever was able to do before. He is still here with me. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss, CK, ?
So easy for me to say, not so easy for you to do, but please bask in the glory of all the wonderful moments spent with your Dad … many don’t get to have their folks live so long. I have empathy for all you did, so willingly, for him … went through very, very similar situation re hospitalizations, etc. with my father-in-law, and almost duplicated again with my own Dad. Your Dad would want you to remember the great times, long discussions, laughs, and great food you shared together. And how wonderful it was that he got to meet his “great” grandchild .. can’t remember if he saw the second one, but the first would have been a milestone moment for all of you. Death is so sudden, even when we know it can’t be delayed forever. Hubert sounded like an amazing soul and obviously he’s passed those traits to his first born!! I’m sad for you today as I know, or think I do, just how close the two of you were and this is a mind numbing loss for you. Know you’re in my thoughts, BR, Calgary, AB
First, I must offer my most sincere and heartfelt condolences on the passing of your Father. It has been a long journey for him, with many trials and tribulations to overcome, but he was fortunate through it all as he had you, Mark, to be a ‘rock’ and a helping hand when he needed it. Words to offer you comfort seem pale and feeble and inadequate for the task, but I do offer whatever I can. I feel deeply sorry for your loss, and there is even a personal sense here since Hubert was a ‘regular’ in your Musings. Whatever you a going through in your mind right now can only be imagined by anyone other than you. However, I can empathize; as I lost my own Father 4 ½ years ago, and I still feel the loss every time I think of him. The good part is that, while the pain of the memory of losing him is still fresh and keen, many other memories now come back of times and events that we shared (both happy and hard, but always sharing our mutual respect, loving, and caring for and about each other). I was fortunate to have had a Dad who shared himself and his love with his family, so there are so very many happy memories to ‘wrap myself in’ every time that I think of him. May time ease the sharpness of your loss and may the very close and personal relationship that you had with your Father hold you up, with the strength that was his to pass on to you. Be well, and be comforted by your family as well as your very many friends ‘out here in Musings land’, JN, Newmarket, ON
I´m so sad to learn that your dad has passed away. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I always loved to read about your dad. You both had such a great relationship. He was such a brave man and had an interesting live. My thoughts are with you and I wish you strength. MS, Frankfurt, Germany.
Oh Mark.......I am so sorry to hear the news of your Dad. I remember seeing him the last time I was in Calgary and it was at his place. I remember thinking what a change that it was for him to move there and make all the changes he did when he did. And how amazing that was As you said he was such a gentle man. You will miss him so I know. I was away yesterday and just got your message this morning. I am so so sorry to hear that news. I know that you have a close knit group of friends in Calgary and I am thankful for that. I am sure the next while will not be an easy time for you. I remember when my dad died and I was in Edmonton. I never got to see him at the end. Just the ambulance taking him to Fredericton as I was on my any home from the airport. but I still think about him so often after more than 40 years. When I think about your dad I see him with the girls with that smile or walking along with his brisk step....and always there for you really when you needed him to be in his own way. We will talk later, SC, Fredericton, NB
I join you in this difficult time. You're the only person in my world that allows me toenter daily in your head and your heart. I appreciate this greatly. This door had always been closed to people who were not even very close and only for those with whom we have an intimate relationship. Being your reader every day,I feel very close to you and share your pain, MMP, Toronto, ON
You’ve shared so much of your father with us all , I am so very sorry, there are no words to express the depth of your loss. My thoughts are with you in fondness and friendship at this sad time, CG, Capetown, South Africa
I was desperately sad to read of the loss of your father and want to extend my heartfelt sympathies to you. It is always very sad to lose someone so close to us, especially a parent, but you have to know they are in a better place. I will be thinking of you of the next few days. Kindest regards, PT, Calgary, AB
Dear Mark, I am so very sorry for your loss. Hubert's passing truly is a loss, but he will always be your best inspiration. You write kindly and lovingly about him today, as you lived kindly and lovingly with him all your life. What more could anyone ask for? You are a good son, a living legacy. Sincerely, KT, Vancouver/Mexico
Offering my sincere condolences for the passing of your father. It doesn’t matter how old our parents are, we are never quite ready to say farewell. Sending thoughts your way, LR, New York, NY
My best to you and your family Mark during this time. What a beautiful age and to have him so close is a gift. Life is a memory and you have many. Best regards, FE, Calgary, AB