Monday, January 08, 2007

Oh Pabbi Minn

My dad passed away when I was 3 years old. My memories of him are more ingrained in me because of the stories I've heard about him. I'm not sure if they're real memories. My dad had a heart condition that was brought on from having Rheumatic Fever as a child.( With todays medical technology, he could have been cured.) He was frail and restricted from vigorous activities. One story about him was that he always carried me around on his shoulders. My mom would always worry that I was too heavy and would tell him to put me down. As a parent myself, I understand why he didn't listen. If you know you aren't going to be with your kids for too much longer, you take your chances and hang on tight. I was ( and still am) " the baby" of the family.
( When you are "the baby" you take this title with you till the end! I'm 47 and my mom still refers to me as the baby).

The weird thing about losing someone so important at such a young age is that the grieving process is the opposite of losing someone as an adult. As an adult the pain is present for a long time and fades a bit, the longer time has passed. The opposite is what I've been experiencing. Of course at 3 years old I had no clue of what was happening to my family. As I grew, there were times I felt curious and even embarrassed about not having a dad. During my teen years, I thought often of him and wanted to hear the stories and "get to know" him. As a young woman planning my wedding I wept -- knowing that he wouldn't walk me down the aisle. He wouldn't know the woman I had become or the man I was going to spend my life with. Now, 44 years after he has died, I think of him often and get choked up as I am now, trying to write this.
One of my favorite songs brings me to tears each time I hear it. It is Bjorks version of an old song called oh my papa. In her native icelandic language it translates to Pabbi Minn. ( If you click this you can hear her beautiful version) Even though I don't understand a word she is saying, I can't hear this song without missing my poor dad. As I listen to her flawless, gripping voice- I can imagine myself weightless on his loving shoulders, being carried into my future with him always being there, making my childhood simply idyllic.


jenifleur said...

Oh, Lucy, I'm so sorry you didn't get to know him and I'm sorry for all the things he missed out on. I cried when I got my llamas last week because my mom really wanted to live long enough to see the farm grow. I don't think you ever stop grieving when it's a parent or a child. Hugs to you!

Ally Bean said...

Such lovely thoughts about your dad. It's interesting how you didn't understand how much of a loss it was until you were much older. The wisdom of age, I guess.

spider said...

Oh Lucy,
I know how hard it was to write this post. Thank you for sharing your Dad with us. You can tell how he was through YOU and your wonderful ways.

I tried to listen to "Oh Pabbi Minn" but unfortunately we have dial-up and it doesn't allow us to hear a downloaded song clearly or straight through. I'll see what Alexander can do...he has a way with figuring music stuff out.

Jane said...

Lucy, what a beautiful post. As a parent, I completely understand the feelings you shared here. Recently, I had a little health scare (everthing is fine) and I found myself wanting to do anything and everything with my kids. With my own father, I have seen him age quite a bit in the past year or so. That alone brings me to tears because he used to be so mobile and active. It hurts because I feel an impending loss on one level and I miss the things we used to be able to do together.

Jo said...

My father passed away almost two years ago and I still miss him so much! But the difference is that I was 50 and he was 77. He had a full life and I had him for 50 years. I can relate somewhat to what you've written because I had two grandparents who died when I was just a baby. Growing up I didn't think much about them, but as an adult I sometimes feel sad that I didn't get to know them. I'm sure your dad would be very proud of the person you've become!