I had an inexplicably weird evening/night Saturday.
Elvi, Child 1, and I went to see “The Lego Movie” out our local second-run dollar theatre (really $2.50).
It was amazing. Really. I think it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in the last, oh, 10 years or so. It is a deep story, profound yet funny around the edges. It could just be me.
The movie touched me. I’m not exactly sure why. I was in the dark next to my daughter with tears runinng down my face.
So I’m tearing up in the theatre and I’m not sure why this movie is having such an effect on me.
I’m not really a crier. It’s unusual.
We’re in the minivan on the way home and I’m really sad.
And I think of something to make me happy and I think of people I enjoy talking to (Yes, they exist.)
And I think of the dumb luck that throws people together. Dumb, stupid luck.
And then my terrible brain starts to think that the same agent of stupid, dumb luck could cleave friendships just as easily and it depresses me. I go from sad to depressed.
That’s what my brain does to me sometimes. It can be a lot more pessimistic than I am.
We get home and the plan is to make pizza for supper. Elvi asks me to make my pizza sauce.
I get out the tomato sauce, garlic, pepper, and basil (my secret ingredient) and look for the oregano. I find the container. There’s only half a teaspoon left and I need two tablespoons.
At this point, this is feeling like a disaster all out of proportion to what it is, but Elvi tells me that there’s fresh oregano in the garden.
She can tell something isn’t right with me. She gets a handful of fresh oregano and chops it up. I throw it in the sauce, mix it up, and I can’t take anymore.
I go upstairs. I cry for half an hour. It just comes out. I think the last time I cried like this was when Elvi’s father John died 12 years ago.
John died suddenly, of an embolism in his garden. He and Child 3 (two years old at the time) had grown such a special bond in thos etwo years. John and Marjory provided grandparently day care for Children 2 and 3. John was really the only grandfatherly influence Child 3 knew since my father lived in the Bahamas and we saw him only twice a year or so.
My dad had an undetectable stroke in 2009 or 2010. We knew something was wrong when he was in town for Child 2’s bat-mitzvah but his was a slow decline. I saw it, though, and I made the effort to say a special goodbye to him when he left Montreal for the Bahamas. I had a hunch.
Sure enough, he was in the hospital by the end of the July, and his life tapered off until it finally ended with him dying in a vegetative state here in Montreal 17 months later.
But the thing is, I had already said goodbye when he was well. I had the closure. I always felt like it was a merciful end when he finally succumbed. I was the only one in the room when he died at 4 a.m.
So I had the closure and no real grief. He hadn’t been concious for days. He hadn’t been a human being for a year.
I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it but there’s a father-son theme to it that I think has hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’m finally crying for my dad.
I think. I could just be a maudlin idiot.
I didn’t figure out why until today.