From my DayOne journal…
I don’t know much about the house I was born in, but I can vividly remember our house in Toronto. It was old, but bright and warm. After a couple of years we had the basement remodelled and I would spend just about every night down there on the sofa bed.
I’d spend most of Spring break playing with my G.I. Joe figures. I’d spread them out all over the basement stairs and along the railings and laundry room floor.
At some point my dad decided to punch out the living room walls and let the light from the covered stained glass windows shine through. The multicoloured brilliance of midday would reflect off the eggshell white paint and I felt just great about that. I’m guessing that was 30 years ago.
Tonight I tried writing an obituary for my Dad — a small tribute that runs in The Salvation Army’s magazine. I can think of a thousand and one things to say about Dad, but the act of putting it in writing is just exhausting. It’s painful too.
This hurt is lingering and doesn’t seem to be letting up. I’m not who I used to be, this much is true. I don’t write anymore. I cancel out memories of my childhood because every time I recall good times I do the math: You know, back then, he only had X number of years left…so stupid. It does’t make sense, but it’s what I do. For now at least.
My stained glass windows are covered over, and I don’t have the strength or even the willpower to do anything about it. In time perhaps I will. I’ll stop cancelling my memories and doing the math and everything will feel a little more “normal.” In time.