Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Journal 86 Stumbled Upon

I stumbled across this email while searching for something last night.
I had also noticed when looking for something paper-work related in my Dad's office a few weeks ago, he had, true to form, copied these questions out, with an intent,
I know, to answer them. He just didn't get the chance.
The "Tuesday" email is a long email that went back and forth between us, I just took out this one 'questionnaire' (list-like, I know) that I had sent him, partly to give him a little 'purpose' in our emails, an assignment, if you will, but more to allow a glimpse into events, times, that shaped his life--from his point of view.
One of his responses to me was that I knew 'everything about him anyway' (this still makes me smile through my tears) but really, I didn't.
I want to do a write-up about my Dad for the back page of Macleans (I do not know how to go about this) but really, the early-life details are kind of lost--I don't know (don't remember?) the name of his elementary school, details like that. I do know his hometown, the street he lived on, his cat's name, and of course, who his parents were, and that he was the youngest child, with an older brother (my American uncle) and older sister (my lost aunt). But I don't know the real details.
So I like to speculate the answers to some of these questions.

Why write this, why post? I guess because last night, while watching Oprah's program on OWN (you can all have a collective...whaaatt?, but no, it was so good), she was talking to a woman who had experienced enormous loss. And someone else who has also experienced enormous loss told this woman that one day, she would be able to think about the people she loved without focussing on that One Day that they died. And that those loved ones would live on in her, for others.
I guess that's why I post. One, for my own memory and to connect with my own sad feelings, and two, to let my Dad live on. One day I too hope to remember the nights at the piano and the barbeques and long drives, not just the cancer and the sickness and the months of suffering.

Here's the email, a portion of it:

Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 8:47 PM
From: carolyn in the city
To: "Dad"
Subject: RE: Tuesday

Hi Dad,
I try to frame Mom's moods in the context of the relation to your suffering
and I understand them better.
Her world is changing and she is coming from a place of fear...it helps
me with feeling compassion towards all her frustrations, most of all the
very unhealthy way she sometimes tends to express them.
I'm sorry that happened.
In terms of writing things down, i can give you a list of some questions (ha,
reminds me of when I used to 'interview' you when i was young and in school,
remember, I had to ask about your first job, impressions on life...etc).

Impressions on life.
Are there major things or pieces of advice you would like to pass along to Lisa
and I? Anythings you would say to definitely make time for, or others that should
be avoided?

When you look back on your life, what do you consider your greatest achievement?
What do you feel you may have missed out on?

Do you feel that life tended to move fast or slow?
Were you always content?

Did faith and prayer always play a big role?
Do you feel that your parents adequately prepared you for life?

Did you wish there were things you could have done that you weren't able to?

What time period were you the happiest with?
When were you the saddest?

Another thing that a friend of mine mentioned was that maybe you
would like to write something to Elise and River about life, or somethings
that you would like them to know, or to express to them.
Again...there is no pressure on that. It's just something to ponder,
think about, and maybe write about.

I'll start with that... I can write some stuff about myself, too, if you want to hear about that.

Much love,

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