TODAY! A huge surprise! For on this morning I had decided to type up an old memory that I found last night, to send out to all my sibs, and especially to John, who was part of the story. In fact I called John last night, but he didn’t pick up.
Dad was 88 at the time of this tale, and he died at 96, six years ago. And I really haven’t heard from him since! Which surprises me, since we had such a long karmic tangle while he was alive. Perhaps it’s because we completed that journey, that 30-year ideological stand-off, at least ten years before he died, that he had no need to be in contact with me after death?
I’m also surprised, because I feel my Mom inside me constantly, and around me often, even now, though she died four years ago. And of course, my husband Jeff, who died in 2003, and who’s even now liable to pop in energetically at any time.
But yesterday evening, and today, Dad was present, right on his March 11 birthday, and I didn’t know it was his birthday until sister Katherine sent this photo to all of us a few minutes ago, with this title: “Thinking of you on your birthday, you old music-maker you!”
So I will respond in kind to all the sibs, with the memory I had promised myself to send, as planned, before I went out on this morning’s walk with puppy Shadow.
Background to story: Dad was German, a doctor, and a Catholic deacon, perfectionistic, authoritative, and in control. Strict, judgmental, disciplinarian, he kept everybody in line except me and brooked no opposition. That is, until he was 88. So, to the story, which I wrote down back in 2004 and just found again last night, on the eve of his March 11 birthday:
The issue of my 88-year-old father driving on highways has been successfully concluded. We eight siblings gathered by phone and email to ask the two youngest to talk with the parents. This they did. Brother John began by asking:
“Dad, do you think you have the judgment to know when you should stop driving on the highways?”
“Yes . . . and it’s NOT NOW!”
“Well, Dad, how will you know when it is time?”
“Um . . . when I have an accident.”
“Oops! Wrong answer, Dad!”
It wasn’t an easy conversation, but John’s humor helped them get through it, and we are now safely on the other side of that long-running simmering impasse.