Saturday, September 23, 2006

...and dealing with death...

B & I decided to celebrate Saturday by downloading another episode of Kim Possible, & watched it after breakfast. I love catching glimpses of B's face as he's watching. The delight is infectious :) We both go "oooh" when Rufus does something cute :) It so much fun to share this with him. C had to work this morning so we were on our own until lunchtime.

B was on the computer with his latest obsession, the new lego bionicle online game, when the phone rang. It was my friend Roo, with the news that Didi passed away early this morning, peacefully in her sleep. Roo was still in shock, although we agreed it was a blessing for her to go so quickly. Didi had only been in the hospice centre for a day & a half, & just last Monday she had found the strength to go hear the Dalai Lama speak (!). Roo informed me that I am now officially her oldest (in terms of length of time :) friend, & I told her I'd try to live up to it :) We reminisced for a bit & I encouraged her to be very kind to herself, since there's a huge hole in her life to fill. She rang off after promising to let me know when the memorial service would be.

B finished his computer session not long after & we sat & looked at pictures from when I worked at camp in the early & mid-80's. He didn't seem terribly interested in pictures of his younger, mom :) He did want to see pictures of Didi & Roo, so we found them. Then he wanted to look at this year's photo album (which was last updated in June) to look at the silly caption stickers I'd put on some of the pictures. This inspired me to print out the pictures from the summer so that I can get them into the album too (& embellish them with more silly stickers :). We had lunch & dad arrived home while we were putting out our usual message to our japanese teacher, before lesson. (I've made mini-cards of the hiragana & katakana alphabets, & we compose a message for Tomoko every week, much to her amusement. B has become really fluent at "writing" japanese this way.) When Tomoko arrived we had her look at the letter B composed, in both japanese & english, for his new penpal in Japan. She corrected one preposition, but was delighted by what B had written. We worked on using verbs & adjectives in sentences for a bit (Tomoko makes wonderful worksheets for us, using humour to "hook" B into the exercise :), then he was free to go swimming with dad while she & I delved more deeply into sentence structure. The goal is for us to be conversational by the time we go to Japan next June... fingers crossed! :)

The rest of the afternoon afternoon passed pleasantly & quietly, with me printing out what seemed like a million photos for the album & B playing the bionicle game. C made us a yummy dinner & we listened to Prairie Home Companion while we ate. After dinner the phone rang & it was my mom. She wanted me to know that my brother had called to tell her that our father had passed away this morning, having been ill for some weeks. On the heels of Didi's death I was caught off-guard by this news. On one hand, I feel relief. He'll never try to see B now, nor do I have to worry about him trying to contact me ever again. On the other hand, there's a certain amount of "regret for what might have been", as C put it, not that I had any illusions about ever having a relationship with him. It's more regret that his life experiences twisted him so badly, & sadness for how badly he twisted our family, too. It's all very confusing. C & I decided that we should tell B about my father's death, so he'll understand if we happen to talk about him. B knows that my father was "a bad daddy" to me & that's why he's never met him, & he has shown occasional curiosity about him, so I think it's important to at least let him know, matter-of-factly, that he's gone. My mother told me that there won't be a memorial service, so I don't even have to fret about my decision not to go... and I can put my energy & time into being at Didi's service to support Roo & deal with my own grief over her loss.

Yet another strange & occasionally beautiful day in, as Kristina would say, Autismland...


At 2:02 AM, Blogger Zilari said...

Wow...that's quite a bit of mortality there. Sympathies for the loss of Didi. And I think I understand your situation with your father fairly well; he sounds as if he was somewhat like my maternal grandfather (who was very abusive and who my family actually had several restraining orders against while I was growing up). One thing that was always rather difficult to explain to people was that yes, this person is a relative, but no, I have no desire to ever be around them again and would not want to subject anyone else to them, either. I admire your candidness in writing.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

A lot of life, and love, in this post----and light.

Thinking about your friend, and all of you.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

Thanks for the support, friends.


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