Thursday, November 25, 2010

I don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

I don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

While I do question the basic premise and traditions of the holiday, I'm not morally or politically opposed to it in any way.  I like to eat - turkey that's not dry, mashed potatoes without lumps, and stuffing from a box are among my favorite foods.  A reason to spend time with the people you love and/or are related to is good.  I always appreciate a day off work, especially one so dedicated to laziness. 

I used to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Growing up, I watched Charlie Brown and the Macy's parade on TV while working on my entry for the Star Tribune's "Oh, You Turkey!" coloring contest.  I was dragged to awkward family meals where I learned that 2 minutes in football time translates to hours of boredom.  I've created innumerable hand-shaped turkeys and even a few construction paper cornucopias.

I celebrated Thanksgiving in 2008.  I almost didn't - I'd reluctantly agreed to go with my dad to meet my grandparents for a casino buffet.  When the day came, though, I slept in and didn't answer his calls.  I expected the familiar voice mail message - "Amy...it's Dad.  Why don't you ever answer your phone?" - but instead he showed up at my house.  In less than 5 minutes, I was dressed and we were on the road.

I remember the drive in a dream-like way...I remember appreciating the way he and I could be together without having to talk...I remember writing in my journal at the casino bar watching my dad gamble...I remember him saying that he actually felt GOOD...I remember telling my grandparents not to worry about him...I remember sleeping on our drive home...

Mostly, I remember thinking that my dad was going to be ok.

I'm eternally thankful for that day and those memories.

I look forward to making new Thanksgiving memories someday.  I know I can do that without forgetting my dad or degrading my memories of him - and I know it's what he'd want.

But, for now...I don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Au Naturale.

I <3 New Zealand!

I posted a video filmed and narrated by Bill Morrison, starring Scottish Stu and yours truly, to YouTube this afternoon (it is here if you don't see it HERE). 

It's totally random and pretty much pointless so if you have something super important or interesting to do for 59 seconds, I definitely recommend you do that instead...

Monday, November 1, 2010

In Loving Memory

I finally went to my dad’s grave this weekend – the first time I’ve been to the cemetery since we buried his ashes. I didn’t really plan to go, but it was a nice day and there it was and there I was…

It probably seems like I’ve been avoiding it. Maybe I have to some extent, but is anybody really EXCITED to go to a cemetery? And their father’s grave? I doubt it.

Cemetery
And really, what was I supposed to gain by going? My dad didn’t like cemeteries any more than I do and I obviously don’t have fond memories of the many, wonderful hours he and I spent together among dead people. In terms of closure, I’m pretty sure holding him as he died was plenty of clarification that he was gone – and putting his remains into the ground solidified the fact that he wouldn’t be coming back.

I wanted to go, though. While the cemetery doesn’t seem to house much of his spirit, the surrounding area – the Camden area of North Minneapolis – definitely does. It’s where we all grew up, more or less. Lots of memories…

RIP, Dad...So, I went. I assumed I’d know exactly where he was – how could I forget that cloudy morning in July with my family, my grampa and uncle, and so many of our friends when I left him there? What kind of daughter would that make me? How would I ever be able to live with myself???!!!

Yeah, well, it’s a cemetery. Needless to say, flat plots of ground don’t make especially good landmarks so, after a few laps, I finally just called my mom. (For the record, I was pretty close.)

His marker is nice and there were some flowers and a plaque from my grandma. I didn’t bring anything – I know he’d rather I buy myself a drink and I’m happy to honor his wishes (because I AM a good daughter!) It was weird, I guess…I could not remember where I had stood or what I saw the last time I was there at all. I didn’t have much of a reaction – it was sad, of course, but it was much harder going to the State Fair and it always sucks when I find an amazing burger that I can’t tell him about.

I didn’t cry.

RIP, Dad…