talking to Granite

I never thought I would be the guy to sit in a cemetery and talk to a piece of granite. I have lost many, too many, friends and family and I always make my visits to their places of rest. But I don’t sit and talk. That changed when I lost my Dad.

Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of his death. I wasn’t in the mood to write yesterday, it’s a tough day for me. Living in a house that he built doesn’t help. I see his touch everywhere in the woodworking, design, and collectibles. As I write this I’m sitting in his favorite chair with his beloved dog sleeping at my feet.

5 years later I still tear up when I think of him and when I attempt to talk about him I invariably choke up. I have been fortunate to have been asked to speak at some events I am a part of and have foolishly attempted to speak of my father and consequently blubbered in front of packed rooms. Historically, I am not a crier. But when it comes to Dad I can’t control it.

As a guy with a long family tradition of “sucking it up and moving on” I am puzzled why it is not getting easier as the years pass. Time heals all wounds, but it doesn’t fill all voids. His loss occurred at a time in my life I probably needed him the most. I was finally coming around to understanding the things he said. Things that I rejected in my youth that I later learned he was dead on about. I had just started to appreciate his simplistic approach to life; be nice to people, tell the truth and work hard and the rest will come. I had just started to recognize that people with his value system and work ethic were slowly vanishing and his presence was a treasure. I was at a point when I needed his eternal optimism to fuel me as I entered the worst chapter of my life. He was minimalism at its finest…less is more. Less showboating, less ego, less drama, and aggravation.

I miss him. The world was a better place with him in it. He deserved better. He worked so hard for so many years to provide for his family and build a retirement. He retired early because his co-workers were all dying young. He enjoyed about 3 years before Parkinson’s reared its ugly head. It reduced a strong, proud man to a mere shell in a long 8 years. Those years took more than his mobility, they took his pride and his independence. Death was a relief for him, I saw his face when he took his last breath.

My life has been especially challenging lately. I am trying to maintain the family optimism and positivity. It’s getting harder. I wish I still had him telling me that everything is going to work out. I suppose while I’m wishing for things I wish that he could have enjoyed his retirement. I wish that he could have celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary. I wish I could tell him how many things he was right about.

I wish that I didn’t have to tell a granite slab things that I wanted to tell him to his face.

Tell the people in your life how you feel about them today, don’t wait. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. You may find yourself sitting in a cemetery talking to granite also. If you’re reading this it’s because I chose to share it with you. Because I care about you and I won’t wait until it’s too late to tell you. Regret is as eternal as granite.

31 thoughts on “talking to Granite”

  1. So powerful, Bill. I never felt that way about my father, but my mother and I were incredibly close. When she died I lost my mind. Thoughts of her still make me cry. I wish I could have found a way to make her enjoy life, something she so rarely seemed to do. Anxiety. Depression. Schizophrenia, as a matter of fact. She always struggled, it seemed, with something. Regardless of that, she could always tell me the truth and make me see it. Miss her so much.

    Amazing piece of written memory, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel this grief so keenly,Billy. Next month will be the 31st anniversary of my Mom’s death and I still find myself reaching to call her when I need to talk. Thank you for sharing your feelings and also a piece of your Dad. Even though I have never seen you, I could still imagine you sitting and writing in your Dad’s favorite chair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is so much truth in your words:”Tell the people in your life how you feel about them today, don’t wait. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.” All we have is the present and it is the best to use it in the best way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s funny how you never lose that feeling of being a kid and missing your parents. Both of mine passed within 4 months of one another, first Dad, then Mom, at the ripe ages of 96 and 92 respectively.

    They both had good runs, passed quickly without lingering or burdening their kids, didn’t suffer, and were both mentally sharp when it happened. There were no regrets and it I was not sad for them because we should all be so lucky, but when I sit to think of them I still miss them terribly, and feel so inadequate at this adult thing.

    This price reminded be of something I wrote after my Dad died. I am going to have to see if I can find it now.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been very fortunate not to have yet lost anyone central to who I am, but I could still relate with this… probably because of how well you said it.

    I’ve worked my way away from the world in which I was born, thinking I was moving towards something better, only to discover that I mourn that world into which I was born. My parents’ old ways are part of that. I already miss the world they taught me about, and will definitely feel a sense of its loss (and them) when I lose them.

    Thanks for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I still talk to my Dad, still argue with him, thank him, miss him. How long? 39 years since he died, too young, of an insidious disease, flattened from the man I knew to a hollow representation. The man I talk to, though, is the man I knew as a child, tall, dark, a rolling gait that showed his attitude, and a smile for everyone. That’s the man I remember, him and my Gran sitting at the table, playing cards, arguing about love, life, purpose – I’m pretty sure they’re still arguing (not his mum, she also died too young).
    We can only remember the way they shared the world, showed their feelings, loved us.
    See, now I’ve teared up, and it’s almost the 40-year anniversary. Love is a big thing, especially when given freely and unconditionally.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I understand so much of what you have said in this post. My dad died in 2012, I nursed him in his final years. I now live in the house he built and lived in. It took me a long time to let go of him and his hold on the house. In the past few years I’ve given every room a make over mainly to put my stamp on it. Good luck with everything.

    Liked by 2 people

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