Dad, Airports and Disneyland

The things I’ve been thinking about today are scattered and don’t have much cohesiveness.

20 years ago, we had just arrived in Germany. We had our first taste of jet lag, waking up at 2am with sleep nowhere in sight.  Paul left to go to work at 6am. I promised I would keep the kids up and none of us would sleep until that night. Paul called the hotel room, waking me up, at 10:30am, “Hello.” “Rachel, your dad died.”

The last time I saw my dad, he was in a hospital bed, intubated. He kept coughing without sound. He was restrained so that he wouldn’t pull his tube out. I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t comfort him. I cried and told him I loved him. I left him, feeling that I might not see him again. A few hours later I was flying to Germany with my little family.

I dropped Paul off at The Ontario Airport yesterday morning as I do often and I thought of my dad. Although nothing looks familiar, when I see the sign at the entrance a flash flood of very specific memories, careens into my head.

I was 9 or 10 and we were dropping Dad off. I remember he was going back to Houston where there was a business opportunity. He had driven to Houston a few weeks earlier and was home visiting, we were dropping him off to go back. I remember my mom and dad not thinking very highly of Ontario. I don’t know why, but I feel that every time.  I remember that we had family prayer before he drove away the first time and we all cried and hugged because we knew we were going to be separated. I remember feeling like it was the end of the world.

I submitted my resume to Disneyland today, for a job that looks good to me. I thought he would have liked that.

I miss him.


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