Another chilly, beautiful day…I cannot complain. Any thing but gray and rainy and I’ll take it. Missing my little blooms, but enjoying the wintry season nonetheless.
I was going to make today’s blog about a classic movie that I really like, and have liked since highschool, and why it is significant. But, on the drive home from the grocery store this afternoon, I found myself in tears, missing my dad as a song played over the car speakers that reminded me of him. He used to tell me in the days before he emigrated to north America while he was still completing his internship back home in Switzerland, he would dream of going to California and living on the beach like the Beach Boys. So anytime I hear one of their songs, I am reminded of this story. And of my dad, and how long it’s been since I’ve seen his smile and heard his voice. I miss it so very much.
When I went to Switzerland to see my relatives several years after he died, I got to know some more about who he was apart from just being my dad. The good, the crazy and the flat-out “you’ve got to be kidding.” But that’s all of us, if we’re honest. Outside of a healthy recovery lifestyle, we have an enormous capacity for self-destruction, and my dad was no exception.
He was raised by a very tempestuous mother who grabbed life by the…horns and took it for all it was worth. He endured being an older brother to a sickly younger sibling who undoubtably took much of the attention away from him, and while married to my mother he was fiercely passionate about his career and …other things. Like soccer. And cooking…loved almost everything he cooked…and, well, we’ll leave it there for now.
Suffice it to say, I will sum it up as my aunt did, he lived 2 or 3 lifetimes in the 59 years that he was here, before succumbing to lung cancer from those damn cigarettes. If it hadn’t been for those, I know he would still be here.
Anyway, getting back to Switzerland. I felt a strong connection to him there, like he was walking me through his life, letting me in on who he was as a person. And the warmth of my family, wow. I was blessed.
What happened next, I can only describe as incredibly mystical and unexplainable. But here goes. I boarded the plane to come home, tears rolling down my face, my heart feeling wrenched, as if I were leaving home, not going home. As I looked out the plane window, I could see the wind tugging and pulling the Swiss flag out nearly straight. As the door shut and the plane lurched backward away from the terminal, the flag dropped, as though there was not even the slightest breeze to disturb it. I cried more, knowing that a part of me would remain there forever. And it does.
For all the positives and just plain human-ness, I love you dad, and I miss you. Thank you for teaching me how important my other home is to me, because I know you’re always there, waiting to share a sausage and a buerli (pictured above).
G’night my dears.