This post is really difficult to write, and I've already written and deleted a lot. But I find blogging helps me process and release things that are churning in me, and so I really wanted to write about this. I've actually wanted to post for a couple days, but between time (or lack of), emotions, and the rather random frustrating events of this weekend has prevented me from doing so up til now.
Today is the 1 year anniversary of when my dad died. This weekend, well, mainly Saturday, was pretty rough. Every year on the last Saturday in August my dad would spend the day showing his antique tractor at a fair/tractor show at Vincent Mennonite Church. Last year he had spent the day at the tractor show, (tractor shows was one of my dad's favorite pastimes)and then later that evening he passed away.
When he died, his antique tractor was passed on to the oldest grandson, my nephew, Jordan. Jordan and his mom and dad decided they wanted to keep Pappy's tradition going, so they entered the tractor in the show again this year. We all (the entire family) went to the show, me mostly to support my mom. She had said she felt like she needed to go - mostly felt like she had to make herself do it, and hopefully it would help bring some closure to the past year. So we all - me, my 2 sisters and their husbands, and all 11 grandkids went to the show and tractor parade. I was OK until they actually started the tractors to line them up for the parade. I don't know if it was the 'put-put' sound of the old tractors, the smell, or seeing all the little ones on the tractors with grandkids in their laps, but I lost it. (Like completely...and I really hate sobbing in public). I hid it as much as I could by biting my lip and keeping my shades on; I was doing pretty good (no sobbing yet) until my sister turned around and said "The smell..." I knew exactly what she was experiencing; all I could say was "I know." It wasn't a bad experience, just a hard one. I really thought I would go through this weekend rather unaffected, but I was wrong. In some ways it's hard to believe it's a year, in others it seems like this has been the longest year of my life. I often think that when Daddy first died the hardest part was the shock, but now, the ache seems to be more acute...the longer it goes the more I miss him. I wonder if the ache will ease with time; I hope so.
Here's some pics we got of Pappy's tractor on Sat. The yellow shirts we are all wearing were given to us by the fire dept that my dad was part of. They had them printed up right after he died, and on the arm it says "In Memory of Bucky". The man in the one pic w/me & my mom and sisters is my Uncle Dave; he was my dad's 'tractor buddy'.
(If you'd like to see the pics closer/larger, just click on the picture and it will re-load much larger).