My Dad died on 11/10/9 which when said backward is 9-10-11. It’s a neat memory trick to recall the date – as if I need it when there’s a permanent etching of the event on my mind and heart. He has been visiting me lately, and not in the form of angels or spirits.
Dad has been on the road.
When I drive to work or run errands, I often get stuck behind a driver who pokes along five to ten miles below the speed limit. I fail in my vow to be kind and good-natured, and sputter while I follow the dawdling driver.
And then I remember. That could be someone’s elderly father behind the wheel, and I say, “I guess Dad’s out for a drive.”
This realization prompts me to exercise my compassion muscles and change my attitude. I substitute complaints and cuss words with phrases like, “May you be blessed; may you find peace.” And then I’m glad I’m going slow because I have blurred vision from tear-filled eyes, missing Dad.
Last week Dad hitched a ride with the UPS delivery man for a stopover. I ordered a water hog doormat from L.L. Bean, and when I opened it, I saw an image of Dad stomping snow from his boots. I heard his words of warning that he issued for all seasons, “Be careful out there. The roads are treacherous.”
I’ve channeled Dad through the television.
Now before you call a psychiatrist to schedule an evaluation for me, let me explain.
I was watching the local news on the CBS affiliate, and my remote control took charge and flipped to NBC. Judge Judy appeared, spewing admonishments to a couple of resentful litigants. I turned back to my news show and in a split second Judge Judy’s mug once again filled my flat screen.
I felt frustrated, then laughed and said, “Dad must be here. He loves Judge Judy.” And I envisioned him sitting in his recliner watching the courtroom drama unfold.
My vision blurred again when I said, “I’m going to feel sad when Judge Judy goes off the air since it is a link to Dad’s daily life.”
Dad also visits me through the television when I watch golf. Dad liked to watch the PGA, and when I was a kid, I thought it was boring – announcers talking in muted tones while Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead became legends.
I grew to appreciate the game as an adult and enjoyed watching it with Dad. After Mum died, we would follow the tournaments together while we talked on the phone.
When I watch the players who have emerged since Dad died, I like to imagine his amazement in their abilities. I’m sure he would shake his head and say, “These guys are good, but why isn’t Tiger playing?” Shhhhh. I haven’t told him about Tiger’s debacle.
May you be blessed; may you find peace, Dad.
What kind of visits have you had with your loved ones who have passed?