I cried today

I cried today.

I remember the point after which my dad died, maybe it was four months, perhaps five, where I didn’t cry every day. Maybe it was some indicator of a new stage of grief. Or maybe it was the physical proximity of that bed, that room, that house, that town, that state having more states between us now. All the physical reminders of death and dying, of hospice and stacks of sympathy cards, an airplane ride away.

The crying today caught me by surprise.

I was careening down highway 280.

It was my first day back in the office since February 2020, first day commuting. Since I decided to become a parent. Since I lost a parent. Since so much living and dying has happened. Since there was a moment I fell in love and my dad wished he could have been there even though he was there. Since silences fill spaces, complete with the tick and tock of the tall grandfather clock in the family room. Since my mom doesn’t have a need to use her voice all day.

I was careening down highway 280. I’ve written this sentence before.

That highway brings up so much.

When my work moved from the Presidio with views of the shimmering golden gate to a business park in the valley, when there was a bubble, when there was a recession, when I got married, when I sat idling in the pouring sheets of rain, when I got the phone call that it “was not good,“ that I had breast cancer, when I almost hit a deer, when I sat on so many family conference calls navigating my dad’s treatment plan, when I swerved to avoid a collision in the first bright ray of a morning sunrise, when I saw the reservoir drop so low, when I became old enough to wear driving gloves to protect my hands from the California sun.


This was my first time waking before my daughter, quietly getting ready, turning off the house alarm, scurrying down the block to my car in the dark, cranking the heat and kicking it into drive. All before 645am. She would be gently sleeping for nearly another hour.

No morning hugs, no morning books in bed in our pajamas, no helping me make my tea, no stretching out the minutes until the day started.

How many caregivers have had to sacrifice this, have never gotten this chance, have not been able to luxuriate in the soft joys of soft mornings?

This road, these phase shifts, the endings and beginnings.

The crying today shouldn’t have caught me by surprise.

This entry was posted in As an aside. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s