[UPDATE] I have been getting comments from people who knew my father and that is more than I had expected. Please feel free to leave a comment, any sort of comment. I will put them into a digest and post them in one post.If you prefer to contact me directly, you can email me at SPA@WALDINA.COM. Again, thank you, Scott.
One of the more-popular posts of recent history is the one I posted about my dad’s death titled I Don’t Know His Story. I thought I would repost it in it’s entirety for the week in review. I wish I had updates to add, but I don’t. I haven’t learned anything new about his last 20+ years of life. I thought about posting an obituary in the local paper, but it feels like there should be something from the last 20 years to include and I just do not have that information. Here is the original post:
Last week, I collected all my Dad’s belongings the place he was staying and from the recovery center where he died. All of his belongings fit into the back of a car. After I went through everything and donated a lot, what was left fit in a small box. These photographs represent what is left of his physical belongings. Where the automobiles, furniture, tools and everything else went is anyone’s guess.
The contents of his wallet leave more questions than answers. He had a my sister’s baseball card from her little league and my 9th grade school photo, some money, a key, a few different bus passes and a bunch of business cards for doctors.
My dad died practically homeless. He had a place to sleep at night, somewhere to keep his belongings, and somewhere that he could make meals, it was one of the back rooms of a business owned by a friend of his. He would get up early and be gone before the people that worked there showed up and wouldn’t return until after they had left in the evening. What he did all day and where he went is not known. He had a bus pass and a lot of doctor appointments which can consume a lot of time, but not all day every day.
Since my dad died, I have been consumed with grief and regret. I am losing him all over again and regret that I could do nothing about the last 20 years of his life. He must have been so alone.
I have been walking the long way between the train and work lately, getting off a couple stops early or walking a couple stops further, partially because it has been beautiful out and I love the city, but partially because I see all these men sitting on benches in Pioneer Square, Prefontaine Park and City Hall Park and obsess over their unknown stories. The prevalent thought is these men are sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, and could easily have been my dad. These forgotten men. We don’t know their stories.
I keep repeating in my head I don’t know his story. I don’t know what happened, what factors fell into place to result in them being alone and on the outskirts of society. I can’t judge them. I can’t know their lives.
It is basically me walking around and letting go of all the anger I have had for my father all my life. He wasn’t the father I thought he should be or the one that I needed or one at all for the last 30 years. I believe that he wanted to be, but for some reason, he couldn’t. Maybe he didn’t know how or maybe he thought that he didn’t deserve it.
I don’t know his story.
This week (it has really been a month) on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Rosalind Russell, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Josephine Baker, Alla Nazminova, Colleen Dewhurst, Hedda Hopper, Mailyn Monroe, Barbara Pepper, Christine Jorgensen, Bob Hope, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Vincent Price, Dashiel Hammett, Isadora Duncan, Dorathea Lange, Harvey Milk, Jimmy Stewart, Cher, Grace Jones, Nora Ephron, Maureen O’Sullivan, Liberace, Jasper Johns, Katharine Hepburn, Martha Graham, Salvador Dali, Nancy Walker, Fred Astaire, added The Grapes of Wrath to my Required Viewing film series, and eulogized my father.
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Most Popular Post Last Week: I Don’t Know His Story
This week (ok, month) on Wasp & Pear over on Tumblr, I posted a lot of photographs of things that inspire me. You should just take a look…
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Over on @TheRealSPA part of Twitter, I tweeted all the #DailyInspiration posts I put on Tumblr.
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This week on @TheRealSPA Instagram, I posted photos of most of the people whose birthdays I celebrated on Waldina, a photo of a bunch of globes in a art gallery in Pioneer Square, and one of Scraps patiently waiting for me to finish my haircut. Adorable.
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