I make it a point to circle around that block at least twice a week. It is about fifteen minutes added to my route, but it is something my heart drives me to do. I have convinced myself that I am doing it for a greater good, not just to remind myself of the pain in my life and emptiness that I want to fill. I could be punishing myself for some deep seeded guilt that needs a reminder to keep to the surface. Honestly though, I don’t think it is quite difficult at all, he is my dad and I need to feel that connection, and on a larger plain we are one no matter where we are. So I keep him in view, sometimes I spot him leaning or sitting against a building, surrounded by his things, sometimes I see him in the food line at the shelter. If I don’t happen to see him at all; I keep my disappointment in check and will enter this ritual once again to catch a glimpse of him on a different day.
I cannot cry any more or lie awake at night worried, angry or in despair, not that I am numb but in acceptance mode to keep myself sane and to cherish all that is good now and all that was good then. I keep my memories pure that way without tainting them with pain that demolishes me slowly.
Often my children are with me as I drive around the area, it is definitely out of the way, that is obvious. My story is that I like to check out the prices at the grocery store in the area, on the ad sign out front. They are still young enough to take what I say at face value, but I am sure there will come a day they will ask why I never stop to shop at that store.