Sunday, April 30, 2006

I know you know I know you know I know

This is Christmas Eve 2003. I knitted a blue furry scarf for my sister-in-law, who I think had the good sense to never ever wear. I remember feeling a little annoyed that my dad did not appreciate the handiwork, but now I know that he understood, well before I did, how ridiculous an item this scarf was. It turns out that his mother was a knitter, never without her needles, and surely she never produced a horror like this one. I wonder what he would have thought of a cabled merino scarf, or a lace shawl, or a soft afghan. But I never knitted for him, and now I'll never know.

It was a great Christmas; we were all together, the whole family, brothers, sisters, small children, some special family members from far away. We laughed and hugged and ate, hung out and went out, talked and drank, just like every time. It was special, like usual. We knew. Dad and I even had an afternoon together -- a basketball game and lunch -- just the two of us, a wonderful father-daughter date. We knew.

He died 25 days later. No warning. Just an awful phone call from my brother. "We're pretty sure he's not going to..." I knew.

There are holes in my life, now that he's gone.

All the Villanova games I saw with his tickets, because he is not here. All the ice creams my kid's haven't eaten, since he's not here. All the glasses of wine, and wonderful meals, now that we have moved home, and he is not here. Does he know that I'm here now, not in Richmond? Does he know to look for me here? The rounds of golf with Mr. Science, the swimming in the ocean with Rosebud.. His jiggling belly, laughing at my son, his namesake, who was just an infant when he died. They would have loved each other, my dad and my son. That my kids really didn't know him, and they'll never know just what an extraordinary person my father was.

Happy 66th Birthday, Dad. I know you know I know you know I know.

7 comments:

Dorothy said...

God Bless and Keep you.
He is there. Everytime one of the children laugh he's there. Everytime you feel that overwhelming feeling of love and pride for your children he is there, and he has felt that for you.
You are in my prayers.

Annie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. It's easy to forget how precious our time is with loved ones. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Mo said...

You made me cry! I know that's not hard to do! I just wish I could give you a big hug.

Maggi said...

Liz, this is so poignant and made me stop and think of my dad whom I lost about 17 months ago. Thanks.
And, on the knitting side, thanks for turning me on to the Green Gable pattern, which I just ordered ~

martina said...

That was so touching. He is always with you and he knows where to find you.

Ann said...

Liz, you honor your father so well.

Your life is a breath-taking, exquisite work of lace -- full of holes and stunningly beautiful.

And what a gift that scarf has now given you -- what a great picture of your dad! Your children will know your father -- how could they not? Your have not closed him off b/c the memories make you pained or sad. You continue to recognize his presence in your life -- to look through the sorrow to the joy. What an incredible gift to your children ... and their children one day ...

What a brave, beautiful person you are!

Anonymous said...

liz, our loved ones are always with us.

whenever I knit, I honor my grandmom who taught me how to express myself with fiber.

whenever I listen to the phillies (good or bad), I honor my grandpop who watched my first games with me.

an interesting, introspective, thoughtful posting; thank you for sharing.

PS - the picture made me smile.

anne marie