Shane and Kylie bought a house this week and I have been helping them a little bit with moving in. When I do things like this it makes me want to overhaul MY whole house and get rid of things and clear things out.  I decided that I will take some vacation later this month and try to clear out my own house.  This poses somewhat of a problem for me as my garage has quite a bit of my parent’s stuff in it.  I know I should go through it. My sister and I went through a lot of things right after he died. We actually cleared out 78 years worth of stuff in less than a week.  A lot of it ended up in each of his children’s and grandchildren’s homes.  I seem to have some very odd things in my possession. I got a couple of them like this..

Me ” We will put the trunk here and put stuff that Danny might want in it.” Cara- That is a good idea” You see Danny was in the Army and this was my Dad’s Army trunk.

Cara -“Do you want these socks”  Me-“well I can probably use them” Cara-“ok”  then she opened the bottom drawer and my parent’s swimming suits (from heaven knows how long ago) were in there.. We had a Goodwill pile, a pile for the neighbor, piles for the sons, a pile for us.  I grabbed the suits. She said “cool is Todd going to wear those?” We both laughed because they are very 70’s mustard yellow verging on speedo looking trunks. I took them anyway.. Why? Because those trunks are the ones my dad wore when our family went to Lava Hot Springs when I was probably 12 years old. They are the trunks he was wearing when he showed me how to dive without plugging my nose and to swim with my eyes open in the water. My dad by the way was an excellent swimmer. He was a lifeguard and a member of the swim team in high school. Why does this matter? I don’t know, but for some reason when I decided I might clear out some things they were staring at me in my garage. I know in a way it is ridiculous because when all is said and done they will not mean anything to anyone else and what am I going to do with them.

I am really feeling his absence now. It is Fall and this is just an excellent time for our family. We have a lot of birthdays and Halloween which is also my dad’s birthday. It is my most favorite season so it is strange for me to feel so lost. I have now seen my first birthday on earth with no parents, the cards to my kids were missing and my sisters kids Will be missing the gold dollar coins wrapped and taped or boxed with his card.  We won’t have Trick Or Treaters and then jump in the car and go to my parent’s house to eat the Tootsie rolls and suckers and tell my dad happy birthday.  My sister won’t be singing her made up song to him while he acts all annoyed. The other night my gas light came on which he would have been totally mad about. In my head I actually thought for a second “well I am down here I will have to call dad if I run out of gas”. Then I quickly got my reality check again. I can’t call Dad.

Sharlee went to Utah to see her Grandpa Larson last weekend and he took her on a drive. They went through Logan canyon. It is the  same drive my dad used to take us on to show us the Fall leaves. I missed him.  They sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again at Conference last Sunday and again I missed him.

I realize he has now been gone 7 months and sometimes it gets old hearing it, but these are my firsts without him and just once in a while it comes over me how very sad it is here without him. I don’t need a counselor or a pity party. I just need to still think about him now and then. I still want him to know that I will always remember him. I will remember him every time I get my oil changed, go to the car wash, see an article about NRA, get the Ensign, hear about the election, use my ramps, pull a tool out of a box and see his name written on it in his handwriting, see the Fall leaves and colors, see the jets fly over head or see my brother use his army trunk and most of all when I feel like things are pouring in on me and I just remember to dive in, keep my eyes open and breathe out and I will still come to the top.

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