I went to call you the other day and immediately tightness gripped my chest as I remembered you are no longer here. I cried for the rest of the night missing you. You would probably say “Oh well” because that is what you said when you were uncomfortable and did not know how to express your feelings.
This past year has been difficult, to say the least… and worse, because you weren’t here to talk about it over a plate of ribs. The way we connected with you, over a dish of richly-laden-diabetic-induced-dinners, while discussing the abhorrence of Safeway trying to pull one over on senior citizens. I know I’m being too sentimental when I think of going for dinner at that awful restaurant you always dragged us to, recanting how it’s the best there is. (Well, the borscht is good.)
The memories of the night you died are so vivid; it seems as though it was just yesterday. It was the last day of the month and I joked that there’s no way you would allow us to pay for another month of rent at the continuing care centre. You did it your way and left us at 10:50 p.m. on the last day of the month. (They still charged us for the next day ha ha – sick!). It was not what I expected, your body still lying there while I rushed to pack up your belongings, as though we were checking out of a hotel. In true [our family] fashion they took your body to the wrong morgue and I had to rearrange everything in the days that followed. And, of course you were right. The funeral service industry is a bloody joke and they only want your money.
I can still think of that day and laugh to myself. I flirted with the cute guy who came to collect you. Yes. I did that. Can you blame me? I have never experienced another human being dying before and it was both weird and awful. Despite the fact that I should be embarrassed by such an admission, I am grateful for those stupid moments because they kept me sane and made me laugh out loud, instead of focusing on the fact that you were never coming back.
I have my moments where I idolize you, Daddy, and I know that you would say, “Come on now” with your funny British accent. But you need to know it gives me a great sense of relief to remember the happy times, instead of the not-so-great-times. You told me often that you “choose to love me” and only you and I will understand the true meaning of this beautiful sentiment. I hope that you are sitting at your favorite dinner buffet with your Tasters Choice in-hand, wherever you may be. (And, just in case you wanted to know, Safeway is still taking those people for a bloody ride!)
I love you.
David Allison (August 24, 1932 – February 28, 2013)