I had dinner here last night, a grilled steak salad and a nice chilly glass of Pinot with my mom, her cousin Marianne and Marianne's husband, Bill. The sun was setting over the James River and the temperature was nearly 80 degrees yesterday. Amazing.
Funny how things happen. My mother has had a home at Kingsmill for over twenty years. It is a resort and golf course with private homes built around it. Marianne went exploring around and said, "Hey what about that restaurant on the River?" I'm not sure what we all thought it was, but we'd never been there. Just goes to show what you can see and find when you look at things from a new perspective.
I had that familiar pain when I saw my father's jacket hanging near the door on the way in. We leave it there. The jacket is a sort of talisman or something, I notice we all touch it lightly from time to time.
Most of the time, I don't have to think that often about my father's death. My mother and I did the talking on the phone, since my father was rather deaf. I don't think he enjoyed talking on the phone even when his hearing was better. They lived most of the year in Atlanta, so it was not unusual for me to go for periods of time without talking to him.
But when I walk into the house at Kingsmill and he is not in his old familiar spot on the couch rising up with a smile to give me a hug, I can't really push his absence out of my mind. In some ways, the distance is good because I can carry on with my life. In this way, however, it is bad, because I experience his death all over again every time I go through the door.
I'm kind of glad that we didn't discover the restauarant on the water until after he was in heaven. This gives us a new memory to make with the family as it is now and not as it was. Life goes on and God's mercies are new every morning.