Father’s Day in the Library

IMG_9635Spent Father’s Day weekend cleaning clutter stacked in the library. This may not seem a monumental task worth mentioning but I’ve been struggling to find a place to write in the house (away from distractions). After a year in mom’s house, I can now research, write and produce in the space that gives me the most inspiration (and the most air conditioning). The inspiration comes from the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves full of…well, old books, as well as the working history files of mother, daughter and even a grandmother.

While sorting through stacks of paper, I uncovered so many bits of memory shoved between old postcards and photos. Since it was Father’s Day weekend, I couldn’t help notice the pieces of ephemera that shed some light on the last year of my dad’s short life.

My dad was working towards a career as a draftsman in that last year. This explains his blueprint of our then-new house (pictured above). Before this job, he was a “jack of all trades, master of none” type as he rarely held the same job longer than a year. He was an encyclopedia salesman, a gas station attendant, a union representative, a taxi driver, a bartender, a five-and-dime story owner, a photographer and who knows what else. But towards the end, he seemed to settle and flourish in his job as draftsman.

27767581316_f6cd0ff672_z

Sent over 30 years ago, this condolence letter from my dad’s boss was hidden in a stack of other dad-documents of that time. I thumbed through my parents’ checking account book in hopes that their weekly spending habits would shed light on broader patterns of their shared life (it didn’t). I found certificates that acknowledged donors who gave to the school scholarship fund in honor of my recently-deceased father. But I kept coming back to this letter (pictured above) because it answered a big question for me — what did my dad actually do as a draftsman at Edwards Air Force Base?

While I’m grateful for this piece of the father-puzzle, the gratitude is quickly washed away by a wave of grief as I want so desperately to discuss this with my mom. Half the fun in uncovering these pieces to the family puzzle was always sharing them with her. So while I remember my dad on this Father’s Day, I also realize the road of grieving is long. I may have a turned a corner in dealing with my mom’s death (and even cleared away some of the ephemeral cobwebs in the library), but I still have a long way to go.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s