I'm sorry that I didn't have a more clever title. Things have been difficult lately.
Still, a tradition is a tradition and at a time like this when your entire world is thrown into chaos and you wonder if anything will ever be the same again there is some comfort in leaning back on something old and reliable.
That said, all I can really think about is my father. My father is gone.I'm getting sick of that fact. But it won't change.
The funeral is tomorrow the burial is the next day after. I felt I was getting better today but the next two days are going to be brutal. Brutal Brutal Brutal.
I find myself trying to remember as many things about my father lately. If I had to analyze it, it's probably because when someone passes they cease to exist in the physical word and are alive only in the thoughts and memories of the living. And we start to fear that if we forget then they will cease to exist. Obviously this isn't any new insight, but this is all new to me.
Anything else about the late great Mr Lee? Well...
- He didn't gamble, he didn't drink much, he was totally faithful to my mother. The only vices I can recall are: Cigarettes and Ice Cream (his favorite was Butter Pecan)
- He literally had dozens of reading glasses all over the place: his car, his desk, the living room. Why he kept buying them I don't know.
- He liked his kimchi extra ripe.
- The first car he ever owned as soon as he came to America was a 1979 Mustang Indy Pace Car. He sold it when I was a baby. I wonder if it was because he had 2 kids and needed a bigger car. One my crazy rich man dreams would have been to buy a fully restored version of it for him. He probably would have thought it was excessive.
- He would go hungry so his kids could eat, he would endure any hardship so his kids could be comfortable.
- He hated to haggle or complain about bad service. He let my mom do all his dirty work.
- When I was like 6, I made him a ""meal" of orange tic tacs served in an empty Nyquil serving cup. He took a tic tac and pretended it was delicious. It is one of the oldest memories I have.
- There is an old picture of him on a racing bike in full active biking clothes. He told me he used to compete the bike races when he was a young man before he got married and move to America. It was just another thing he gave up to raise a family.
- Looking for pictures for his memorial reel I have to say he had an underrated smile. He didn't smile enough.
- I wonder if our family dog will wonder where my father went. He probably saw him the most.
- It's stupid but I don't want to spend any more of the Dunkin Donuts gift cards that he recieved from work that he passed along to me.
- I forget that he actually had a tattoo, a crude little one done with pen ink from when he was in the army. I wonder what he would have thought if I came home with a tattoo.
- He was a somewhat cruel but effective driving teacher. He was impatient, quick tempered, and overly critical but he did make sure I passed every part of the driving test on my first go; even the parallel parking section. Still the experience was so traumatic that I rarely ever agreeded to drive him around. Even when I was picking him up from somewhere I would immediately switch seats. He didn't mind, he lived to give rides.
- I realize now I will never get a ride from him ever again. My heart breaks.
- He would end nearly every order with "do you understand?" like I wasn't paying attention. I was annoying but I am sad that there is no recording of it and it exists only in my memories.
- Every thank you from him felt sincere and earned. I used to bring him up a cup of green tea up to his room as he watched videos on the internet and he would light up with such geninue gratefulness like the biggest favor ever. Every time.
- One time we got into some heated argument, I forget. But when he saw I was struggling to hold back tears; just stopped and just told me "you're still a good son". I think he just wanted to stop me from crying but it made me cry even more.