Someone offered me an ice cream in a cup, the kind that comes with the little wooden spoon. First this reminded me of my father and the time he beat up the ice cream man. Then I realized that it’s been nearly three years since he passed away.
It’s weird to say that I’m over someone’s death because it feels too much like being over someone’s life. I’m over my ex girlfriend, I’m over the Mets collapsing in 2007 and 2008 but I’m not over one of my parents being gone. Instead of saying I’m over it, I say I’ve gotten past it. It’s still there in the past, I just look back less frequently now.
Every now and then some unexpected pops up, like today when an ice cream cup reminds me that just before my father’s death he called me. Our conversation was cut short but before he hung up he said: “I need to tell you something, but I’ll call you later.” The follow up call never happened. I realize now that he was going to tell me that he wasn’t well but sometimes I imagine that he was trying to tell me about a treasure map or a secret pile of magical pornography (this is more likely).
One of my most useless skills is the ability to remember every phone number that I had growing up as well as the phone numbers for family members and local businesses near my hometown. Occasionally I will pick up the phone to make an business call and instead I will impulsively dial one of these numbers. Today I dialed my father’s number and when it rang I hung up so that I didn’t have to hear an unfamiliar voice on the other end. I’m past it, but not over it.