The past six weeks have been a little busy and I haven’t had much time for writing. Since my Dad died in August I feel like I have been just trying to keep up with the treadmill switched on at full speed under my feet.
Dad died on the Friday evening at the end of my two weeks of vacation. The following week was my final week of work at a job I had been in for seven years. I had planned in advance what I was going to do that week to clean up and write out my transition documents for whomever my eventual successor would be. I was the first one in the job and invested a lot of myself into creating the role and my work. I wanted to make sure that I left it as ready for the next person as possible.
Instead of a leisurely week of writing down all the stuff in my head and a week of good-bye conversations with colleagues, stakeholders and clients, I found myself in the US where my dad lived sorting out his affairs and discovering that he had no funds or insurance to his name. We loaded up his limited possessions, sold his car to pay for the cremation and came home. My mum looked after our kids for the five days that we were away, two of which were spent driving there and back and three days getting things sorted out.
Then I went back to work for my final day where I crammed as much transition as I could into one day. It was a very busy day with lots of phone calls and meetings – and a brief break for farewell cake. Then I was off for a three-day weekend, which included my daughter’s eighth birthday party and actual birthday. On the Tuesday I started my new job, which is in a totally new field for me and after more than a month in the job is still quite confusing.
Next came Labour Day weekend, which I made into a five day weekend so I could catch my breath and we could things sorted out for the start of school. Then we plunged into the start of school year life. School everyday – including the after school exhaustion-related temper tantrums from the kids. our youngest started in daycare three days a week, my partner started her choir rehearsals, our oldest two started back at Brownies and Girl Guides and I was back to making lunches for all of us.
In the new job I will eventually be working from home more often than the office, I am currently primarily working in the office and our office hours are 8 to 4, which means I leave just after everyone gets up and I no longer have the opportunity to help in the mornings or walk to school with my kids. They are now walking themselves to school, which is a good thing for them and us. It is also a loss of time together. I do gain back some of it in the evening because I am home an hour earlier than I used to be.
We got our schedules adjusted and into the swing of school life. In addition to all the adjusting I was sorting out the logistics for Dad’s memorial service, building the box which now holds his ashes and continuing to sort through his papers and affairs. At the same time, I also had to prepare for the largest craft show I do in a year, ensure I had enough product and finish getting my new website cleaned up prior to the show since I was planning to direct people to my site at the show.
I made it through the craft show which was a full weekend show – the day after my wife’s birthday. I spent two days standing at the show instead of home doing regular household tasks, which added to the time pressure I have generally felt for the past six weeks. I am not quite sure when the last time is that I cut the grass. I suspect that it might have been labour day weekend. The show itself was very successful and worth the effort that went into preparing for it.
The week following the show – last week – I spent finalizing details for my dad’s memorial. His birthday was on the 30th so we decided to hold the memorial on the Saturday the day after his birthday. I finished making the crematory box, wrote my eulogy, sorted out catering and coordinated details with my brother and other family. On Friday we drove to the city where we were holding the service and spent the evening trying to get our kids to fall asleep in the hotel, which took until midnight…
The morning before the memorial I threw together a slide show of photos that I had scanned of dad and various family members and finalized my eulogy. The memorial was good – as far as these things go… Everything went as planned and we had a good opportunity to come together as family and friends to remember my dad and catch up with one another. Sunday we came home and Monday was back to work and school / day care and my youngest’s third birthday.
I have at least one more craft show to prepare for later this fall. I have some orders to fill and half a dozen blog posts that are jumbled up in my head to put into words. Slowly we will get readjusted and I will figure out what I am supposed to be doing in my job.
I have started adjusting to the idea that I can no longer call my dad. I can however still talk to him. I have his ashes and and I am going to build him a shelf in my shop for now. We’ll hang out and I can chat with him whenever I want. While I don’t believe in any sort of afterlife, It will be therapeutic for me to have a focal point for the conversations I want to have with him or perhaps the conversations I need to have with myself from time to time. Some of the limited memories I have from when he lived with us when I was a kid involve his workshop so it seems like a fitting place for us to hang out together for now.
So now that I’ve made it through this period of constantly thinking about the next thing that has to get done I feel lighter and I can go back to my regular life of thinking about the next thing that needs to get done, plus I can catch up on Netflix shows and sleep in past 6am some days. More regular blog posts and newsletters to come.