Anyway, by some act of serendipity, our first chance to visit my step-mom at her new digs in Santa Rosa was over Labor Day weekend, which just happened to fall on September 2. I'll be honest. I was scared. I was scared of my feelings and how I would feel being surrounded by his belongings. I was scared that being with her and without him on that day would trigger things I was unprepared for. But you know what? It was okay. Actually, it was better than okay. I loved seeing her chat with Dash, her only grandson. I loved eating her food and being babied by her, the same way they both used to baby me (and we're not talking about when I was a kid--in my family, the babying never, ever stops). I loved spending time in her bright, beautiful new home. I loved forcing her to start drinking mimosas with me way, way earlier than she would have otherwise.
It was a good visit. A fruitful visit. We got to talk about him, spend some time among his things. A tight pod of the people he loved, eating and drinking and laughing and remembering. I think he would like the way we spent our time.
Dash was excited to show Grandma some of his sweet moves.
The bunny ears thing is getting out of hand.
Dash & Grandma
Them's jes cute, that's all.
Dash found some of Grandpa's old rings.
No, my father was not a biker. No, I'm not sure why he had so many giant skull rings. The man was full of mystery.
We got home from Grandma's the evening of September 2, so we had time to light a candle for my dad. I didn't have anything fancy for the occasion, so I decided to just write him a message on a plain votive. It says, "I love ur dumb ass." Because mourning and being hilarious are not mutually exclusive.