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 with ambulatory surgery.) 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 48 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, 45 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......
And this is the place my time machine would take me to, back to my Pabbi minn, back up on his shoulders, trying to inhale every last detail of his face, his smile, his warmth, his scent and his precious paternal love.
this is from my post 'pabbi minn'- originally dated 1/8/07
(random photo courtesy of internet)