August 11, 2009
Since my dad passed away, Mom has spent much of her time rearranging and recovering and buying new furniture. The first thing she sent home with us was Dad's arm chair. I don't think she could stand to see it empty. Since then she has been slowly going through the condo passing on Dad's belongings. We've come home with several computers, a few hard drives, a modem and a printer. Once we move we'll be inheriting 3 7-foot bookcases and Dad's enormous sci-fi/fantasy first edition collection that currently resides in them (which we'll most likely sell the majority of). By no means do I think she's trying to erase him...I think this is her way of grieving and removing some of the day-to-day reminders (not to mention, she doesn't need 5 computers when she won't use PC's anyway).
I'm getting used coming home with boxes of Dad's left behinds....but I wasn't prepared for Sunday. Mom finally went through the desk in Dad's Ham Shack (N5UJ). My box included things like the cardboard kaleidescope I made him when I was 9 and the brass Texas Bicentenial belt buckle he wore anytime he wore blue jeans. It also included about half of his large pen collection. He treasured his pens. He used to tell me that he wrote too hard so using a fountain pen forced him to write gently. He always had one in his front shirt pocket. Always. He went through years of trying different pens to find the one he loved. His favorite for the last few years was a vanishing tip retractable fountain pen. I have two of them now. Along with the first fountain pen I remember him buying and several my Grandmother gave him when he started collecting. Maybe it's time to start caring about what I write with just as much as I care about what I write. Maybe I need to force myself to be more gentle and more intentional with my words. Maybe I still miss him an awful lot and wish he were here to guide us through this stressful home buying experience.
Instead I'll write with his pens and hope somehow I can channel a bit of his wisdom through the bright blue ink.
flickr: Namike Vanishing Point