Today I had a lovely visit from my mother and aunt. My aunt is sixteen years older than my mom, and is just one of my mother’s six siblings– five sisters and one brother. All of that side of my family, besides my mom, currently live in Honolulu, Hawaii. My mother grew up there, but moved to San Francisco after she graduated from University of Hawaii.
My aunt is 87 years old, but could easily pass for almost two decades younger. She’s visiting my mom for an entire month, which is great because my mom is all alone in our family home. Except for the lingering spirit of my recently deceased father, that is, and a very high maintenance cat. I try to visit whenever possible, but as it is I live nearly sixty miles away, and even brief trips require a lot of planning and organization, thanks to my beloved eleven month old. My mother comes to visit me once a week and FaceTimes my daughter daily.
If I can be half the mother to my daughter that my mom was to me, I can die happy. My mother is the epitome of acceptance, wholly admirable in her patience threshold, and goes beyond unconditional loving (if that’s even possible). She raised three very smart, passionate, creative, and witty children… Who were not easy to handle, let me tell you. But we all turned out just fine, and I think a lot of that credit goes to our mother.
The rest of the credit is bestowed upon our father. He was the funniest man you’d ever meet– clever and quick-witted as they came. He was an overachieving businessman, very practical, and yet extremely kindhearted. He was a big teddy bear, even though his gruff voice and overall curmudgeonly demeanor didn’t necessarily announce that description. He had a huge soft spot for his children, and would have done anything just to make us happy. There is not one minute that passes by each day that I do not miss him. I often reminisce on what it felt like to hug him, what he smelled like, how I remember his voice sounding. He was the most amazing man I’ve ever met (aside from my husband, but I would not have found such a great husband had I not been blessed with the father I had). My heart aches when I think about how he will never meet my daughter in this lifetime, but I’m comforted every time I see a quick flash of blue light hovering around her. I know that he’s here, watching over her, and I know that he always will be. People knew not to mess with my dad when he was alive, and I almost feel like anyone with ill intentions had better worry all the more now that he’s in spirit form. He’ll make his presence known, and even in death he continues to have a way of sharing his opinions with me.
It’s pouring outside right now… despite it being the middle of July in California, and I can’t help but remember how my father loved the sound and smell of the rain. He’s probably enjoying every moment of it.