It’s been seven weeks now since my father died, six weeks since I returned home from Texas and his funeral. It still feels like there is something wrong, something missing, with the world in general and the universe at large. He was the anchor of the entire family, he’d been the patriarch of the clan since the mid-1970s, still in his early 30s at the time, after my Uncle Irvin had died suddenly while driving from California to Washington D.C. and none of the older men in the family were available or trustworthy enough to take on the role.
We all went to him for advice and assistance, especially my cousins who no longer had their father to lean on. Even many of our family friends went to him when times got tough. We’re all feeling his absence, some more than others. We’re all feeling there’s a big hole where my father used to reside.
And now I’m finding myself having to take on the mantle he has vacated. There are only two men older than myself in the family now. Both live in a compound in the desert, both convinced the government is spying on them while quoting religious passages from some online charlatan. Like it or not the job is mine.
For nearly five decades my dad was the glue that had held the family together. But his health issues the last three years meant he didn’t have the energy to deal with the fractures that started to show and grow. So I inherit a house divided and I wonder if I have the energy to devote to pulling it all back together. Having to make the final decision seven weeks ago tonight not to override his wishes regarding not being put on a ventilator – a decision he specifically put in my hands just days before – was not only the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, it also had me wondering for weeks if I should have gone the other way that night. He expected me to make the right call that night, and after a lot of soul searching, I’ve finally realized I did make the right decision. And because he’d expect me to step up and take up his role as patriarch, I’ll do what I can.
Dealing with the grief of losing him, with the normal aftermath that comes with the loss of a parent, and the dynamics of this crazy family of ours, has taken its toll. Aside from my review of Dune, and the Must Read Books’ posts that run every Friday on my blog, I haven’t written anything in the last seven weeks. The desire to sit down and write just hasn’t been there. I might not have even written the review if I hadn’t been so annoyed at the producers at how much they got wrong despite having the son of the author who wrote the book being so involved in the project.
I realized earlier today that I was doing the one thing my dad would not approve of: Letting his passing prevent me from getting on with my life. He raised me better than that. And part of my life, a very big part of it, is writing. So, enough moping around. Enough of walking around with a dark cloud raining down on my head all the time.
Its time to get the fractures fixed. Its time to get back to work. Its time to get back to writing. I’ve got 30 writing projects planned on my writing board. I’ve got several projects by other authors to see through to getting published at Tuscany Bay Books. I’ve got some family fences to mend.
Because that’s what he’d expect me to do. And I’m too much my father’s son not to step up and do whatever I can to get it done. Its time to get to it.