April is a funny month.
The air rich with pollen and the scent of blooms, brides-to-be everywhere anxious to rush down the aisle, the seasons first sunburn visible around each corner. The crisp atmosphere inspires the escape from hibernation, fires the engine that compels us to tidy our homes, to flush out the dust that has crept in to quietly cake our lungs and mini-blinds. For the first in many slow moving chilled weeks, we step forth renewed and ready for battle.
For me, it’s more.
April is a time to honor the memory of my father. Had he not been struck down with pancreatic cancer in brutal irony, this past Tuesday he would have fought valiantly against celebrating another year past since his delivery.
The freedom of having his four needy children grown and out of the house was met with the celebration of evil little malignant cells. Those little fuckers had a grand old time, at first convincing his body that he had the flu. In the weeks it took to discover what they were really up to, they had multiplied and formed a vicious unstoppable gang. The temple had been demolished. They had caused damage that couldn’t be reversed or repaired regardless of how many experts were called in.
As is the case with many girls, I believe my father was perfect. Many frank conversations about his weaknesses and faults did nothing to dispute my theory, even in his imperfection he was without flaws.
Grief, like cancer, does not discriminate. And while his bad jokes and sage council are greatly missed, there is a comfort in having been blessed enough to know him at all. To have seen him sparkle when he would wink at women stuck in traffic and say “I just made her day”, to have devoured his London broil, to have watched him grip the sides of his bucket seat the first time he allowed me behind the wheel — is all a pleasure unparalleled to any other I’ll ever know.
“Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast forever
One grand sweet song.”
– Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)