My Dad

In honor of Father’s Day this past weekend, I traveled to the cemetery where my Dad is buried. It’s actually a beautiful place…

#susanstrasser #writingcommunity #IstilllovemyDad #beautifulpeacefulcemeteries

You know when you sit on your Dad’s grave at 11:59 a.m. with your nice big, beat up ol’ sun hat on, which protects you from the summer heat? God is so good as to make that minute feel like two so you can settle down before you answer your new therapist’s facetime call!

And in that moment, before morning ends, a big yellow butterfly comes flying almost at you, lopping joyfully, as if to hug you a few feet from your face.

Dad would appreciate this. 

I pull my knees up to my chest, and me and my old hat face the woods. I watch the wind whirl it’s trees and blow at its green leaves.  

I talk to Dad almost the same as in the hospital when he was dying. It’s easier now, because he’s “passed,” and he’s still not going to say anything just like those last few days. 

The therapist calls, and we have our session. I tell her how you and I took a dozen Daughter/Dad day trips up here to Patton, PA, over the years. But then she stymies me by asking what it was about it we enjoyed. Oh! Hmmm…

The time with Dad. Getting away. We’re both dreamers, idealists, and love history, especially family history. Dad and I both enjoyed the scenery of the “long way” to Patton from MD, where I grew up. Even as an adult, I’d ask him, “Can we take the long way?” i.e., no highways.

The long way was prettier, with the farms, and our crazy family-created landmarks such as “the town with no people.” Or the brook with a half dozen weeping willows meandering with it. A mountain called The Buckhorn. “There’s always snow on the Buckhorn,” Dad would say. Perhaps we’d spot some Amish, like I did this week?

Dad liked to talk, and I liked to listen and learn. He taught me about his entire side of his family, in fits and starts. How growing up in a small town like Patton shaped him and he always left part of his heart in it, despite having to leave for a better life. 

Dad purposefully had himself buried on a beautiful overgrown hill in St. Mary’s/St.Paul’s cemetery in Clearfield, PA, 2 ½ hours away from me. And I am totally okay with that (despite how I complain about it other times!) I need the drive. I need the time. And I still need my Dad. 

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