Wow, I didn't see that coming. I have been doing pretty well with my grief. I have really missed dad but I've also been able to talk about him and laugh about the silly things he used to say. I find myself saying things like "you know, all those rotten things people say about you just aren't true" and "step into my office" or my favorite " you are in trouble, you are in more trouble than you have ever been in in your whole rotten miserable life." and all his other dadisms. He had a very odd but fun sense of humor and taken out of context people didn't get it. Most of us kids are the same, we say things and then laugh like crazy while the rest of the world just stares at us.
But I digress. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. The Easter season has always been pretty significant to me. I had planned to go to mass at work (why not, how easy can it get) but then I saw in the bulletin that Mark and Mary had requested that the 7 PM mass be said for dad. I decided that mass would be crowded but having more meaning to me.
After work I picked up Keegan and we made the 35 mile trek to pick up my clearance tile from the big box hardware store in Orem. Well worth the trip to save 6.00 per tile. There was a bit of a mix up and they had gotten me the square inch tiles instead of the subway tiles. The color was the same but I really wanted the subway tiles. After searching with an associate for a long time it was determined that the computer was wrong and I could have the 1 inch or nothing so I took what I could get.
Problem is that now I was cutting it close to get back. I made it about 10 minutes early to church and walked in only to realize that our "new deacon" was con celebrating the mass. He looks like a nice guy and people were talking to him. I planned to sit in the church but a 70 mile trip right after school was too much to ask a busy 7 yr old so we stayed in the foyer. When I sat on the food donation box it was right in front of the room where the clerical robes are kept. Its where dad used to sit to wait for mass to begin. I swear with every inch of my being that he was there. It was dark in the room but I kept looking in and it was like he was there perched on his chair with his cane and cute smile. OK, I was a bit teary but OK.
Then after mass, an old friend I hadn't seen for about a year came over and gave me a hug. She said she had just found out that dad died and she was so sorry. Already emotional, I got a bit more teary. Then someone else I don't know well came over and gave me a hug. She told me how she still has dad's phone number in her phone and she doesn't want to delete it. By then I was crying. I was trying not to. My sisters were still inside and I didn't want them to get going. But all the sympathetic looks and a few hugs said everything- "having a new deacon really means that deacon Steve is gone." God bless Nora, the secretary, I just love her anyway but she came over and just pulled me into her and said, "we aren't replacing him, no one ever will." Then she said "see his picture is still up there and I'm not taking it down until I get absolute orders that I have to." I'm so lucky I have such great people in my life. Really, I am. And so many people have grief but God it hurts- bad.
In other news, I got accepted to speak at the Utah Public Health Association conference. I submitted last month and hadn't heard back so I kind of forgot about it. I am so busy but this will be fun- and really it will be easy. My topic will be "Healthier Populations Begin at the Breast" I'm speaking on exclusivity in Breastfeeding and why it takes collaboration to make that happen.