Tuesday, January 17, 2012

AJB, 1924 - 2011

So 2012 has been kinda sucking so far.

Long story short: my father went into the hospital in mid-December and passed away early on new year's eve. Yes, this is Major Suckitude. I -- and my family, and my sister and her family -- loved my Dad a LOT. He had 87 really good years, and over the course of his career he did a lot of good work and had a big influence on many people. So I'm left feeling sad, yes, but also in a strange way, proud of my father. He was a good man. I hope I die as well as him.

Still, it's one helluva cloud under which to start the new year. Work's beginning to start moving, which is something of a relief -- it gives me something to do, something to focus on. But I'm still sleeping a lot more than normal, which I'm going to assume is my own idiosyncratic method for coping with stress / depression. I'll snap out of it, sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.

The rest of my family is, I think, taking it somewhat better than I -- perhaps in part because they stayed in Texas while I hung out with Dad in the hospital in Illinois. This was not an easy decision to make: should I fly my wife and kids out to Illinois? Should my wife drive the kids out? In the end R and the kids stayed home until my father passed, I flew back to Texas, then we all drove back to Illinois for the funeral service. I won't even start to get into all of the thought and argument that went into doing it this way, but we had just visited Dad over Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure there was much value in dragging everyone off to Illinois so they could hang out in an ICU waiting room for 2-3 weeks (Dad agreed, BTW). As it is, through the internet the kids got to talk to Dad, even sent him a video postcard they made, and Aidan played some music for him. It was a tough call, but I think it worked out okay. The kids miss him, and are sad, but not to a pathological degree. Which is, frankly, probably about the way my father would have wanted it.

Yeah, I'm proud of my father, but I miss him a lot. It's going to take some time getting past this -- but isn't that how it's supposed to be?

Love you, Dad.

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