This past few weeks has been more difficult because of everything going on - the illness, the lack of money (and the phone calls that ensue) the basement flooding without home insurance (couldn’t pay the premium) the big box store not paying me for a month (they had my banking info wrong) and the bank closing down my account and calling in my thousand dollar overdraft (they kept my truck payment and widow’s pension to pay it off) and of course, there is the countdown that goes on every year since Dale passed away. Songs spur memories while I’m driving around trying to get things done, tears come easily and more often than before.
As much as I miss the good man he once was, it mostly comes down to the trauma involved with his drinking, the way he got sick, and the broken man he was when he died. For the most part I’ve forgiven him, although I found it sad the day that Jamie was angry with Bill (over the last fight we’d had, involving Em playing us against each other) and said something like “well, he needs to think of us as one unit or else he’s no better than Dale was. And Dale was a good-for-nothing drunk.”
Brutal honesty, and there is a bit of guilt because he once asked me while he was dying, to try to remember to good things. The humour, the affection, the way he loved, lived and breathed karate. So I’ll do that today.
About ten months after he died, one of my employees took a job in Japan, and agreed to scatter some of his ashes into the Pacific ocean there. This is the message she left me this morning:
It was a misty day here today, the humidity before the rain making the air heavy but cool. The clouds hugged the mountains and flowed into the sea where a part of his spirit lay.
Dale Peterson. February 12, 1967 - October 2, 2002.
I hated how awful the end was, but this is the life I was meant to have. I hope you have peace now.