Last Sunday my wife and I stopped by the cemetery to spend a few quiet moments with my Dad
seeing it was Father’s Day.
It was a sun-shiny day with puffy white clouds dotting an iridescent indigo sky and a gentle breeze that easily moved the American flag marking my father’s eternal place in the world.
We watered the royal purple petunias that my sister got for the grave and sat for a spell.
Cemetery silence is like no other.
It traps me in my own thoughts as I ‘talk’ to Dad while trying to figure out just what the hell is going on in my life.
Like he will just pop out of nowhere and answer me.
In a perfect world, as I always say.
I can’t remember the last Father’s Day that I spent with the man when he was of sane mind.
That bothered me last Sunday, a bit more than usual.
Maybe my daily commute to Boston and endless hours on the merry-go-round/cheese wheel that we call life has sucked the remembering marrow out of too many bones in my body.
I told him, “I’m tired, Dad. And I miss you. And I want to be 10 years old again,” as the thoughts of oiling my old Rawlings baseball glove for the ultimate game of ‘Catch’ rolled around my head.
It was total vindication of the good old days that sat heavy in my heart.
Every visit to see my Mom and Dad is sentimental in some way.
Maybe it’s how I’m wired, I don’t know.
I kissed my palm and touched the names of both Walter and Virginia, all that’s physically left of them.
I wanted to just drive by the old neighborhood for shits and giggles and made my way towards my old house.
I turned down Harvard Street driving past all the old neighbors; the Gilbert’s, the Masterson’s, the Pelletier’s, the Pinard’s and on and on.
The fields I once played on were totally overgrown with brush and trees and sadly no sign of my once significant presence.
We came back up Harvard Street and I looked at the house I’d grown up in.
There was no one home and there were pastel yellow signs taped on the front and back door that said, “NO TRESPASSING!”
I pulled my SUV into the driveway and Pamela and I got out to survey the multiple broken windows and damage.
The place that was once my ‘home’ was devastated.
Mold was eating its way throughout the entire exterior.
It was raped of its innocence and simple beauty.
It was a crime scene of epic proportions.
I was crying inside as I peered into the windows of rooms that held so many good memories for me now destroyed by people that just didn’t give a shit; holes in walls, carpets that looked a million years old and covered with dirt and soot.
It was disgusting.
The animals living here were lower than assholes.
If they were standing right in front of me I would say that to their hairy faces.
I was angry and sadder than I had been when I sold the house.
What would make someone do this to a place called home?
I was speechless.
What really hurt was that the window in what used to be my bedroom was shattered, she-doo-bee-doop, shattered, shattered.
I wish I had a great ‘tie it all up in a bow’ ending for this story but I don’t.
My old house is very sad.
And I can’t blame her.
It makes me even sadder because there’s nothing that I can do.
If my arms were big enough, I would have given her a hug.
But it’s too late for that.
The damage is already done.
And I’ll remain shattered . . .