Today, three years ago, my dad died. For some reason both my mom and I thought it was the 24rd of February. I think the reason is, last year in the Jewish calender, the day was March 23 and we mixed it all up. My mother is at the cemetary right now and asked if I come. I didn't want to say no but I feel I don't need a cemetary to show the love of my father. I can just talk to the sky and look at photos. I can dream about my dad and I can write about him in my notebook journal as well as this journal. I don't need to sit on his plot to show my love. The thing under my feet would just be the shell of my father. I'm pretty strange, I don't know if I believe in a god but I kinda think about what happens to us when we die. Reincarnation, ghosts, etc. I can't imagine life just being snuffed out like a candle, never to spark again. I can't imagine that. I guess all species that have a sense of mortality feel the same way.
I loved my father, even if I didn't always show it to him. The night before dad died I said 'I love you'. He was sick that whole week and I decided to tell him since I don't always say it. I'm glad I did say it because he died the next day. I was home when he left with my 'uncle' Bennett. Bennett was a highschool friend of dad's. They both wore pocket protectors and plaid jackets. They were like brothers. I was in my room when all this happened but I heard it and later saw the evidence. My father started coughing up blood and Bennett took him to the Ceders Sinai emergancy room. Now the rest of what I say is what I heard from various people.
My father was pale and his blood pressure was lower then normal. Let me say this now, my dad suffered from Lupis which causes anemia among other things. They rushed him in but obviously couldn't save him.
I was walking into the mall to get a danish and coffee before taking the bus to Santa Monica College. As soon as I walked into the mall my phone rings and mom is crying say that dad is in the hospital dying. Mom only had a vague idea he was dying since the doctors there are terrible (bed manner wise). I am to go back home and Joel (family friend) or Adam will pick me up. At the time Adam's eyes weren't so bad and he drove. I got home and I was walking back to the house when Adam pulled up. We went to Ceders and I went in alone while he found a parking space. I got a nurse to let me into the family waiting room where Bennett was. I sat down next to him and waited. A few minutes later mom rushed in saying that dad was dead. I went into shock so the rest of this is only a vague memory. Mom rushed to me and uncle Bennett broke down crying. I was unresponsive to her hug because of the shock. I just stared straight. Adam came in and mom told him. He also started crying and rushed to me as well.
I think 30 minutes past but then Vlad, another family friend, and Rabbi Lisbon, yet another family friend and very liberal rabbi (for being Orthodox) came in and started talking to mom. The doctor that worked on dad came in telling us what he 'thought' happened. Now, this doctor was British and I thought I would never hate the accent, I hated his because of his attitude. He said "we have to do an autotopsy to figure out what caused the death". Vlad and the Rabbi kept telling him that most Jews don't have autopsies done on them but the doctor kept insisting. Mild mannered Rabbi Lisbon started being really vehement about NO AUTOPSY. Later on we found out that Vlad and even the Rabbi wanted to punch that doctor. We left the hospital and went home. I helped cover the house mirrors which is a Jewish custom. Then I went into my room and just lied down. Joel, the friend I mentioned above, showed up and came straight to me. He was worried about me because he couldn't find me. At that point I really loved ginger ale and he brought me a 12 pack of it and just sat with me for a few moments before going back into the regular part of the house. My friends from school Jay, Daniel, Chris, Bruce, and Aaron showed up and Jay started being goofy. I think he didn't want a crying female on his hands though I haven't cried at that point. Then many people staretd showing up. I think that's it for that day.
The next day was the funeral and I did cry then. My therapist was there and insisted on squeezing my shoulders...I guess I appreciate that now. So I cried and I'm glad I did. I didn't cry at my grandfather's funeral because I was a brat that didn't show her feeling. My brother, to this day, thinks I didn't love him and tells me that. He sometimes uses my father's memory to manipulate me into doing something (you'd do this if you really loved dad) but I'm not about to go into that.
Back to the funeral, tons of people showed up. There were at least 220 if I remember correctly. The mayor at the time, Jim Hann, spoke as did a city official Rocky Delgadillo and numerous other people. I don't remember much more except crying and all the other funeral jazz.
Went home. That's all I'm gonna say about that day.
My father worked for the city, he was a city attorney. He helped write alot of the city's current ethics laws and many city officials new and respected him; judges, past mayors. Even some state figures like Barbara Boxer and Henry Waxman respected dad. Henry was actually a family friend and we get holidays cards from his family.
Dad was brilliant and was great at debating. Every Friday night the family and company would debate over various things, usually religion and politics. I got my love of classical, politics, and opera from dad. I think I also got my anal tendencies from him. Dad could be very serious but also cut loose and be goofy. When we would go on vacation, at night he would do this weird thing. Just lie on the bed with his arms in the air. He claimed it was to help him sleep but because I got disgruntled and whiny over it he would continue to do it. It was like a game after awhile and I only complained because that's what I was supposed to do. He loved animals even though he never really had any pets or really WANTED any pets. At one point he wanted to get a pet chicken so he can raise then kill it the Kosher way. Mom and I both know that he would have gotten attached and not kill it, he was like that. He was very much against me getting rats but Hamlet worked on him and just two months into having Hamlet he would brag about 'that smart little rat' to all the city people he worked with. He bragged about Hamlet to the mayor at the time, Jim Hann! He loved Hamlet and Hamlet obviously adored him. When dad died and I let her onto the floor, she would hop over to his bed and lie on his pillow for hours not doing anything; so unlike Hamlet. She was mourning his loss even if she didn't understand death. SHe got better after a week.
Dad loved nature and was a major advocate of the California environmental laws. He would go camping as a young adult and every year we went to a little Central California town called Cambria to just get away and get back to nature. Dad and I would scout the beaches looking for interesting rocks, shells, and above all: moonstones. He had a major moonstone collection which I continued. He also had a huge shell collection that he collected as a kid and a a coin collection from various countries.
I miss my dad more everyday and I thought I'd do a serious post today.