There is a poem floating around somewhere that I wish I had in my possession with this title.
39 years ago today my life changed. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 11.
I remember my Aunt Oneida bawling her eyes out in our bathroom. I had been around long enough to know that if all the people were at YOUR house, the tragedy belonged to you. I got out of bed and found my mother. I asked what happened, she said as only she could (you have to know my mother), your father died Andrea. Just like that. Matter of fact…it was was it was. Death had come to 12818 Hlavin. That day like many others since then have been hard. I didn’t have much time to spend getting to know my father. At 11, there was still so much to learn. Lessons that only he would have been able to teach me. Instead I was taught by the cruel twins known as trial and error. Those heifers were mean. I digress.
I have some memories, not a lot but a few. Even those aren’t all great. I remember him snatching up this little boy at the day care that he drove for for being mean to me. He was a little mad, I was scared for the boy. He saved me from losing my hand when I rolled it up in the window of his burnt orange Pontiac, Lord what was I thinking. I remember him singing the Spinners, or Ojay’s he had a beautiful voice. I remember him issuing what will forever go down in history as the “Grand Bust”. I was however never the recipient of said punishment. This is when he would grab up the poor soul that got in trouble. I clearly remember my cousin Eric, getting it. It was just one lone swat…that’s all you needed, I guess. He didn’t have to give out many. I remembered when our house caught on fire, and I saw my father cry. That showed me that real men did cry. I remember him making me share my candy with my pesky younger (unwanted – I wanted a St. Bernard; that’s another story) sister. I was mad…heifer ate all hers and I had to share. So he in some ways taught me to look out and take care of her. I remember him tickling my mother in our kitchen. So I had a small brief glimpse of a happy couple. I remember Star Trek and Budweiser beer, which to this day I detest. My sister, yes the unwanted one tried to drown me by pouring it up my nose as I lay upside down on the couch (covered in plastic, that I wasn’t supposed to be on anyway) on the phone, (probably wasn’t supposed to be on that either). That’s one beer I will never drink. The memories…and my nose burns. Go figure.
Bowling, he liked that and he was good at it. Therefore I didn’t like it because that was a negative memory. Like the Budweiser, but I did or do on occasion bowl. I have a ball, shoes and everything. I can make it look halfway decent, but just like singing, I didn’t get that gift from him. I also didn’t get the height gene. He was a tall guy, well at 11 all adults were tall. He was handsome too. Great smile, thin and sometimes I can hear his laugh. Memories – that’s all I have. So on this day, I will not be sad at the fact you are not here but cherish the short 11 years that God allowed me to have you. I have so many questions, and so many “if he were here, this surely would have been different” moments. I just want to call you and say, Hey daddy, which sounds funny even to say it in my head cause I don’t remember ever saying it to you. November 1, All Saints Day, I always thought that was perfect for a day to die. It’s the Feast of all Saints known or unknown. It works for me.
I write this because I needed to get this out my head and on paper or digital format for prosperity maybe. I don’t know. I just know that it was necessary for me to pen this. Even all these years later…I miss you like it was yesterday. I remember it like it was yesterday. Pain is supposed to subside over time is what I’ve been told. I don’t know that I agree. It like anything else waxes and wanes. Some days are better than others. The days when nothing seems to go right or I am just over everything, to just be able to call him and gripe would be nice but alas, this is my path, a fatherless child, ok grown ass woman at this point but still. Inside, I am still that 11 year old girl who wanted to go to with her dad, in the casket. Clearly I wasn’t fully aware what that meant but hell, life as I knew it was over. Crazy thing is not even haven been that close to my dad, I knew I didn’t want to stay behind with my mean ass mother (I mean whose mom is not mean when they are 11 – don’t everyone speak at once). Anywhoozle, I might just be rambling at this point but I can it’s my post, blog or whatever the hell this is I am creating.
I love you Aaron J. Brewer, that’s all.