All week I’ve been sluggish and weepy. You see, today, April 15th, is the fifth anniversary of my father’s death. It’s especially ironic that he died on April 15ht because he left us ten years of unpaid taxes–unpaid and unfiled, and unopened notices from the IRS… That’s my Dad on the right, me in the center rockin’ those 80s glasses, my sister on the left, behind us the waters of Lake Michigan.
I didn’t have a great relationship with my Dad, but it wasn’t bad either. He was a good man that had a lot of problems, some of which I’m sure would not have been so damaging had my mother not died. But that may be a fantasy, I don’t know. What I do know is that he was smart and had a sharp wit (he could be a pretty funny guy).
What I do know is that he loved me, and I understood him– and still fear becoming like him… As I look around my house now I see piles of I-don’t -know-what on my dining room table, papers strewn across my office floor and clean clothes stacked on the floor in my bedroom. I wonder if this is how it began with my Dad.
A few significant differences I cling to:
1. I filed my taxes yesterday. Here’s where the good news comes in– I’m getting a refund, whew.
2. My family room has places where friends can sit, and it is not so messy that I would be mortified if someone dropped by. I would even let someone in the door (and the line of bags of recycling that was in the entryway last week is now gone– recycled!).
3. My mail– even junk mail– is opened and dealt with within a week of receiving it (usually on Saturdays).
4. I vacuum and dust. Not as regularly as I would like, but it does happen.
5. I know when all the food in my freezer went in.
6. If need be, I could get my place clean in about two hours. (I may not be able to find everything afterwards, but it would look pretty).
7. I feel like there should be a seventh thing, but I can’t think of one now.