Sunday, October 19, 2008

Four years, gone

Imaginary conversation with my Dad, taking place in my head:

Me: Dad? Are you there?
Dad: Yep. How're you doing, kiddo?
Me: I'm okay. How are you? What's it like there?
Dad: It's perfect.

Me: I miss you, Dad. I can't believe it's been four years already. There are so many things I want to tell you.
Dad: I miss you too, kiddo. What do you want to tell me?
Me: I work for a really nice organization now. It's called RAPTOR, Inc. It's a bird of prey rescue. You know how you always said a good job isn't going to just fall in my lap? Well, this one did.
Dad: (laughs) Well, that's good.

Me: I got a new car this week.
Dad: Oh, yeah? What'd you get?
Me: It's a Subaru Forester. It's roomy, gets good gas mileage, and they are really safe.
Dad: Sounds good. It's not a Chrysler, but oh well....(smiles)

Me: Isabelle is almost 7 now, and Lorelei is 4 1/2.
Dad: Gettin' big, huh?
Me: Yeah. You'd be proud of them, Dad. They are so smart.
Dad: Take after me, huh? (laughs)
Me: I think they do.
Dad: You're pretty smart too, you know.
Me: Well, you were always telling me so.
Dad: It's true. I knew you would be okay in life because you have a good head on your shoulders.

Me: Mom misses you a lot, Dad. She was mad at the world for a long time. It was all just so sudden.
Dad: Yeah, I know. That's how it goes sometimes. Wasn't in my plan to go at age 66.
Me: Steve misses you too. He helps Mom and me out when we need it. If something is broken, Steve can fix it!
Dad: I taught him everything he knows (grin)

Me: Nearly every day, I think to myself, "What would Dad think of that?" Or, "I wish I could tell Dad about this". You left a big void in everyone's life. I'm sorry if I ever took you for granted. I thought you would always be there.
Dad: It's okay, Sue. Sorry I'm not there.

Me: I wish you were here, too. I'm going to go now, but hey...check in on all of us now and then, okay?
Dad: Will do.
Me: I love you, Dad.
Dad: Me too, kiddo. Me too.

(Dancing with Dad on my wedding day, September 9, 2000)
Dancing with Dad
Glenn J. Kailholz
July 11, 1938-October 19, 2004


Liza Lee Miller said...

You made me cry, Susan. I will say you are pretty lucky to have known your dad as an adult. It's hard to have conversations like that with my dad because I never knew him as an adult. It never gets easier though.

NatureWoman said...

OMG Susan, look at him looking at you (tears are in my eyeballs right now).
And you have described my Mom. Angry as all get out. I actually get afraid for her. Please tell me this passes.

KGMom said...

Ahhh-Susan--me too, sitting here crying. I am fortunate to still have my father (he is now 89) but my mom has been gone since 1990. And I miss her loads--sometimes more than others.
What a great way to remember your dad--in conversation--where he is now, and where you are.
Life goes on, doesn't it.
And those who have gone are still here too, in our hearts.

Susan Gets Native said...

Liza: matter when they leave us, the big space doesn't really get any smaller, does it?

Anger is one of the stages of grieving, and my Mom has gotten through it. Your Mom will, too. It never goes away, but it does get easier.

Before we lost Dad, I thought "they never really leave us" was a bunch of trite crap. But it's true. They are still here, living in our hearts. In a twisted, painful way, grief is a conduit to what we wish we still had.

Beth said...

Aw Susan... I'm teary now too. I know how you feel. I wish my dad was here to know Seth and Melanie. Your dad was so great.

Susan Gets Native said...

Beth (aka Cuz):
Your Dad would have gotten such a kick out of Melanie. I wish he was here for you, too.
Some of the last photos taken of Dad are on our fridge...and they are from your wedding.
: )

Anonymous said...

HUGS dude- your dad was the coolest and I still miss him. And his potato salad. HUGS! And I love that picture.
- Colleen

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, Susan. You always make us laugh and here we are all crying. What a sweet post to your father.

I can't recount how many such conversations I have had with my dad. No matter how many years pass, there is always something that makes me think, "Now, wouldn't Dad love that one!"

Susan Gets Native said...

That man COULD cook, couldn't he? Know what foods I miss? His pizza...and that delicious sauerkraut.

This post has been in me for days. No. Make that years.

Susan Gets Native said...

PS...that picture is the only one in existence of Dad DANCING.
: )

LauraHinNJ said...

I'll not cry with you Susan,


but instead offer some quiet applause for finding a way to share your dad with us. Thank you. I'm glad you were finally able to write about him.

Love that pic too.

Kitt said...

Aw. I miss mine, too.

Mary said...

I can hardly type through these tears...

RuthieJ said...

Aw Susan, I can tell how much you miss him. I'm glad you have so many good memories.

Susan Gets Native said...

You know, even in my head, he's not much of a talker. : ) He was a man of few words.

I'm sorry that you are without a Dad, too.

Wow. I didn't know everyone was going to get all teary-eyed on me. It felt good for me to write about him, though.

So many memories...boy, I could really tell some stories.

Joy said...

What a lovely post Susan. I believe that our loved ones keep right on loving us after they leave this earth. I believe they appreciate it when we talk with them. Thanks for sharing this with us. And that pictures is beautiful.

NatureWoman said...

Thanks Susan. I can't wait until she mostly gets through it, because she's driving us all crazy with her screaming (something she has never done before).

kristin said...

Like many who posted before me, I am typing thru tears, as well. Thank you for sharing this little piece of your dad with all of us. What a sweet photo; it seems to reflect a genuine connection, smile to smile, eye to eye, heart to heart. My own dad often refers to me as "kiddo", so your imaginary dialogue struck home with me on a personal level. Then, when I remembered that he had dug around for owl photos for you, only a few weeks back, the personal aspect was even more poignant. Just by your dialogue, he sounds like he was such a neat guy, such a great dad...someone who believed in you and encouraged you. My dad is like that, even tho it took us a lifetime to work thru the "shadows", to get to this place of mutual understanding. I think maybe I need to tell him once again, just to be sure he knows how I feel. thank you again, and God bless you as you honor the life & memory of your beloved father.

Kyle said...

Beautiful tribute to your dad, Susan. Thanks for sharing it with us all. I find myself hoping and praying that I can have that kind of influence and inspiration on my own kiddos as they grow up.


dguzman said...

Look at you both, with the same little turned up noses and sweet smiles. *sniffle!*

Kathiesbirds said...

Susan, you got me all teary-eyed now. How wonderful to have such a special relationship with your Dad. You are very blessed. I know you miss him from reading this post. You made him come alive again.

Mary said...

Damn you Susan. Why did ya have to make me cry when I dried my tears an hour ago? Huh?