Thank you for all the wonderful heartfelt messages of sympathy and support! What an authentic source of consolation you all have been! I feel as though I have been embraced in a warm hug by all of you. I'm so grateful. And my mother is coping magnificently, thanks for asking.
Enough time has elapsed since the loss of my father that I am beginning to feel as though it is time to move on with life's basic routine. As though cooking and cleaning and doing my knee exercises are important things to do. But I feel as though I should confess in all honesty here: this motivation to get out of my funk didn't arise from some noble place within my soul. No, actually what happened is that in thinking about Dad, I realized what he would be telling me to do right now:
"Julia! What the hell?! Don't waste time moping over me -- I'm in a better place. And you have stuff to do. So get ON it, girl!"
All said with a smile on his face and in a loving tone of voice.
Sigh. Oh, gee. All right, all right, Dad.....I've got my knee elevated with ice on it having had dutifully done all of my exercises. Like a good girl. After I'm done with this, I'll get ON the dishes.
I wish I had a nickel every time that Dad issued advice in that same tone of voice. About ten Christmases ago, I was writing our annual letter to be enclosed in our Christmas cards and had a case of complete writer's block. And, as so often was the case when I was trying to solve a problem, one of my parent's often used phrases of advice came to mind. Which prompted me to gleefully write my letter since a lot of things said in my childhood were pretty darned entertaining.
At Dad's visitation and Rosary, I was surprised to see that Mom had kept her copy of that letter -- and it was displayed along with all of the pictures and memorabilia that she had brought to the funeral home.
Oh, my gosh. I had forgotten all about writing that thing. The print is small and the picture blurred, so I've copied it below. I should have labeled it Mom and Dad-isms. You can guess which were said by either Mom or Dad.
Things Which My Parents Have Said That I've Said Many Times:
1. Get your ass to Mass.
2. I'll just run through the house with the vacuum cleaner.
3. A tired dog is a good dog. And that goes for kids too.
4. Where the HELL have you been?!
5. I want to hear your feet on the floor.
6. There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint.
7. When you're writing a speech, tell 'em what they want to hear.
8. Look me straight in the eye and tell me that.
9. Oh, there's nothing to this recipe.
10. Cook fudge till the bubbles change.
11. One more sassy word, and you're heading to the garden to hoe a row.
12. Smells like money.
13. Cook seafoam till it spins a thread.
14. Let's quick pick up the house.
15. It's for medicinal purposes.
16. You left your sister where??
Things Which My Parents Have Said That I Wish I Could Have Said:
1. Get that pony out of my dining room!
2. I'm going to the high school to get the dog off the football field.
3. Don't bother me. I'm talking to Bob Woodward.
4. I'm going to Eau Claire to get the dog out the carwash.
5. Sit. Shake. Roll over. Good horse.
6. Put down the pack of steak, Hooter. (family dog)
7. Just put the piano on the hay wagon.
8. Run down to the freezer and bring up six coffeecakes.
9. Skim a quart of cream off the bulk tank for me.
10. What the hell is a weeble?
Each item on these lists were written verbatim, I promise. And I wish I had enough room here to tell all the great stories from which they came. Ah, but that will have to wait until another time; because right now I've got to get going. I've got stuff to do. Dad said so.