|My Dad's Most Beloved Toys|
The Longest Day
Today we walked into the house where my dad lived and died. A big day. Very strange, but mechanical.
Would the house alarm trip?
Was my passcode information correct and up-to-date?
How would the house look after the police and the coroner had been there?
How did they leave the bedroom where my dad died?
What dog mess would we have to clean up?
Would anything be missing?
Who would come to our door that day?
It went better than we imagined because we were both prepared for the worst. My sister tripped the alarm on the back door, and my passcode info didn't work. I had the correct info, but couldn't disarm the alarm, so the alarm company finally called, and we sorted it out. The alarm screamed at us for 10 minutes straight.
His room...I can only describe it as peaceful. My dad was an extremely organized guy, but he had mellowed as he grew older, and the house had an orderly, but relaxed feel. We felt oddly comfortable because everything was so familiar, but a little like we shouldn't be in his room snooping. As we plowed through his most important papers, it was comforting to know that we were doing what he wanted us to do. It was our responsibility to be there.
We got a good start in the morning, but lost the rest of the day and left after dark to make time for one of his best friends who had been checking on the house for us. He needed to talk, share his grief, and reminisce. He met my dad through mutual friends who were part of their dirt bike racing club. My dad taught him to ride a dirt bike through the desert. We laughed and shared sparks of recognition in his best friend that reminded us so much of our dad. And, he seemed relieved and comforted to see aspects of my dad's personality in us.
A concerned next door neighbor showed up, as well. We talked to him at the front door and gathered information about my dad's last day. He was probably the last person to see my dad alive. My mellowed-out dad got along with his 30-something year old, gearhead neighbors. He would have seen himself in them as a young Hell-raiser who worked hard and played hard. I can see why they got along. The brothers will miss the ease of living next door to my dad.
At the end of the day, my sister and I are still trying to grock the fact that my dad had such an amazing group of friends. He wasn't a social butterfly, but he was charismatic, and it was his genuine fearlessness, loyalty, and joie de vie that made him such an interesting person.
He truly had great friends. What a good way to end up.
Good job, Dad