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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Share

I'm not sure if you're aware of this but I am the President of the Nag Champa incense fan club. I burn it constantly and it makes me feel happy. Recently, though, I bought some jasmine scented Morning Star incense and the other night I realized it smells exactly like Old Spice aftershave.

I was cooking and although I was sauteing garlic I was overcome with the aroma of 1970's men's aftershave. And my dad. The way he would pat his face with it, kind of lazy-heavy but with determination and a certain joie de vivre. I remember thinking the container was from NASA. What was the little space ship looking thing on the top? He'd slap it on and off he'd go---smelling fresh.

I remember thinking that no matter what my mom said about him that I would love him forever.

So when I was reminded of that scent recently, I remembered that father I adored and I felt happy that my sister and I stayed close to his side as his life and memory slipped away from him and he slowly disintegrated in front of our eyes. I remembered that I am grateful for being shown how to have grace in dying and how to make Grateful a religion and how to never ever ever take coffee and a soft blanket for granted and to always keep a few things to remind you of who you are and who you dream yourself to be and that in the end it does not take much to make your big mark that is so filled with life and love and kindness.

Yours In Superfluous Longing,
Greta P. Grief


The Zadge said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad! Thanks so much for sharing!

Joann Mannix said...

What an extraordinary tribute.

My dad died very suddenly at 66 years old. He was a runner, a vegetarian, a singer of songs, a fabulous father of 7 wild and wooly kids, a husband of 44 years, a man who tried to do everything right to keep himself here with us. It was the only time in my entire life he ever disappointed me. My dad was repairing the roof of our family's childhood home when my mom found him, unconscious.

When people used to tell me it was such a good thing that he had never suffered, I wanted to slap them. They had no idea what it was like to have this man of such extraordinary measure ripped out of your life without a moment's notice. But, then I started to hear the stories of my friends. The pain of suffering. The pain of illness. The pain of forgetting. And I realized, that life is so much of a trade off. And my dad go this quick and easy ride home. And even if we hadn't said goodbye, we had lived life together, fabulously.

So, thank you. I love dad stories. And I think you are a writer of such calibre. Thank you.

Joann Mannix said...

Got. My dad got this quick and easy ride home. I suck at the proofreading.

Suzanne said...

Wow. Double Wow. Both beautiful tributes to your Dads. I too lost my Dad. He lingered for years with several illness and I am so grateful for ever single minute. I don't believe he suffered until close to the end. He had had a stroke which destroyed his short term memory. So for a few years he didn't remember he was sick, until he was reminded somehow during the day and he never ate another leftover. It was all new to him. :-)

He was quiet and got lost in the noise of my Mother and me, but he was always there.. in the background, steady when everything things else was upside down. I miss him so mch.

Cupcake Murphy said...

My heart bursts reading about your dads and that you appreciate what I've written and take the time to tell me here is as comforting as Nag Champa. Thank YOU.

Charli said...

I was speaking of my grandmother and her Alzheimer's Disease this morning and I think that you described it perfectly when you said "as his life and memory slipped away from him and he slowly disintegrated in front of our eyes."

Beautiful tribute to your wonderful daddy.

The Subtle Rudder said...

Beautiful. I loved this. In fact, it was the one thing all day that took me out of my own head, to a sad and lovely someplace else.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

I tried to comment yesterday but was so overcome. My Dad had been gone a little over a year, and the weirdest things trigger tears. This time of year we would have been going to Nantucket to open a house up for some rich folk acquaintances. We used to paint and clean and Windex the house in exchange for the ocean view and time with family. All those smells remind me of him. Thanks for writing about him and letting us all share a moment.