Feb 19, 2009

The Streets and Rails of Cleveland are Safe At Last

In a dramatic and perfectly timed exit befitting the amateur thespian that he was, my father passed away last night... on my oldest sister's birthday.

She's beside herself with pique at this last bit of his upstaging her life, but will join us nonetheless as we bid farewell to the dear, if perplexing, old fart. Oh, how that would make his eyes twinkle to hear me insult him like that! His mock dismay at such cheek and lack of respect for his years... sigh...

Just last month my sister said, "I just know he's waiting to die on my birthday, the rat!" She's uncanny like that. He is too, apparently. They haven't spoken in years except for our recent visit in which he was too addlepated to actually connect with us. Family. Funny, strange, and transcendent. Go figure.

I awoke last night, worrying about so many things. Money, work, health. I strengthened my mind against the onslaught and rolled over with a deep sigh, seeking to return to sleep. Suddenly, my entire body shuddered with a wave of visceral awareness of something. It washed over me and I thought it rather strange because it wasn't a panic attack but a sudden sense of frailty and smallness, the way one can feel all alone on the sea or the side of a huge mountain. I wondered if my father had just passed away, or something quite jarring was happening somewhere in the world. Eventually I drifted back into the safety of the unconscious.


I got the phone call this morning and was simply gobsmacked, almost laughing with incredulity at the outrageous exit of my old man. I would have been deeply disappointed by anything less, I suppose.

33 comments:

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

My condolences, Joan.
I enjoy the stories about your dad. Almost blowin' up Cleveland is quite a legacy, but not as big a legacy as you are. :^)

God bless your family.

Mike said...

Joan, I am truly sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. My thoughts are with you like gas in a man cave. :)

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh Mike, that was perfect! My family would totally get that and say, "hell, you knew him, too?" Heh.

Thanks, Ben, you are always so sweet. Tell Skully to raise a mug o' grog to my old Navy CPO dad.

:o)

leeann said...

Your dad's youthful days sound a lot like my Papaw's. My sympathies to you for your loss, and I envy the memories you must have.

Holder said...

Ahhh, I'm sorry, Joan. My heart goes out to you and your family.

QP said...

I liked your stories about your Dad too. You have my sympathies. I know that sense of fraility and smallness....I labeled it untethered, set adrift. Fortunately, I knew enough about losing to lean into it. God is merciful.

julie said...

May he rest in Slack, Joan, and God bless you and your family.

Joan of Argghh! said...

"Lean into it" indeed. Thanks, QP.

I like the idea of the old guy just slackin', Julie, as he was always too hyper, like me.

walt said...

However we related to them, their blood is our blood. May God bless his soul.

joated said...

The old guy reached out and touched you for one final time at the end.

Condolences.

Jean said...

I'm so sorry, Joan.
May you continue to honor his memory by sharing the stories of his life.

USMC 9971 said...

My condolences, Joan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Gecko said...

Sorry, Joan, to hear about your Dad. I know you are glad that you just went to visit him. Love hearing that unique voice in your stories about him. When my Dad died I knew that Iwould have been more upset at my dogs death. Blessings and Happy Birthday to your sis.

jwm said...

Joan, I'm fresh out of cliches here. Otherwise I'd have some appropriately trite thing to add.
Prayers with you. Peace for your father.

John M

PeggyU said...

Joan: I am sorry to read of your loss.

Sal said...

Joan, dear
Prayers for you and your family and for the repose of your father.

pamibe said...

My deepest condolences, Joan. I loved reading about your Dad.
Prayers are going out for all of you...
{{Hug}}

Liberty Girl said...

Sounds like he had a great life. We'll raise a toast to him.

Irrelephant said...

Darlin', I've never been good with this sort of thing, so I won't risk botching it. Sounds, though, like you've got a good head about it, which makes me feel like you'll be okay through this. *big hugs* You know where I'm at if you need a liberal to bash. *wink*

mushroom said...

We knew him through you and your stories. We will miss him with you. We'll be praying for you and your family.

(Bad thought: I hope my dad wasn't still hanging around the gate when your dad came in. The two of them together could only be trouble in paradise.)

hoosierboy said...

deepest sympathies

folly said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Joan. It sounds like the world is a little worse off for his passing.

Suzette said...

So sorry to hear that your Dad passed on. Not gone though, never gone. He'll always be with you.

Sam said...

I raising one now!!!

My condolences

Lee Ann said...

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your Father. It sounds like the world lost a little bit of its bright spark (slight pun intended as tribute).

Thinking of you and the family.

C.S. Perry said...

Well...would you have had it any other way?
It's always good when we can honestly say that "they never let us down."

I wish I could call my dad right now.
And then go and by-God blow something up!

Froth said...

Joan, I'm so sorry. It sounds like there was a totally intriguing dynamic there, similar to ones I've been privy to. Prayers of strength to you and your family.

GUYK said...

I am sorry Joan. Please, give me a call if you come back this way.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Thanks so much to all. Your taking the time to drop a small note, a smile, a prayer all add up to a tremendous feeling of love and support. It means more than you know.

There will be a memorial on Monday, down Guy's way in Weekie Wachie, FL. I think I may have to share his stories there. (That's what happens when you guys encourage me.)

Blessings to you all.

Velociman said...

Now he's with the Senator. God help us all.

XXX

V

Peter said...

Condolences and prayers from my family to yours.

Robin Starfish said...

Your dad did know a thing or two about special effects (e.g. limestone pebbles - great story), so his final message to you and your sister is indeed priceless. He left you with some great memories. God bless you and yours, Joan.

Betsy said...

Joan I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father but I have to say the thought of a memorial service at Weekie Wachie has me tickled. I know you're not talking about having it AT Weekie Wachie but I may have to work that into my own pre-planning ideas.

You & your family will be in my thoughts and prayers this week.

Numbers 6:24-26
Betsy C.