So today’s “get to know me” post is more personal than usual.
Today (Sunday) marked four years since my dad died. Before anybody jumps into sympathy and how awful etc., how I must’ve cried all day, I should actually say it wasn’t terrible. Although I loved my dad very much, when I look back in the way he was able to leave this world, at home, hospice care, with some family, I am grateful. Same thing when I think of the honestly good time my family had getting together for the funeral – who would think I’d see that as enjoyable? And then there the great times I’ve had with my mom since. She and I have gone on vacations in Maine, twice camping in the Southwest, Savannah, and in a couple weeks, Asheville. I find it hard to be bitter or sad. My dad was ill for the last few years of his life, dead kidneys, on dialysis, with a few other troubles, but he always had my mom, never had Alzheimer’s or cancer or anything terribly painful. I was also able to visit him for a week right before he passed (then flew back a week later). I live 1000 miles away but knew I had to be there. Plus, my mom needed to get her taxes dine, it was almost April 15th, and doing that with Dad calling for her all the time was impossible. Annnnyway… Everything worked out.
About this picture: I took this picture in high school on a day when my parents and I went down to Newport, Rhode Island, as we did a few times in those years. I believe we were visiting Marble House, a Gilded Age Vanderbilt mansion. After the house tour, we went out in back, which as at all the mansions, faces the ocean. It was a cloudy day, so we couldn’t see anything but the coast itself, but it was a beautiful view, as the couple of other mansions you could see were swathed in mist, and the seagulls were flying around in the fog too . Also, as you can kind of see in this photo, a lot of the trees on the cliff edge had grown to be bent backwards away from the sea. I love this picture of my dad not just because of how he looks (full L.L. Bean fashion and thoughtful expression), but because he looks like he has some property of the trees, like he’s resisting the wind.
Richard Darling (1933-2013)
P.S. Dad loved Star Trek. Original TOS fan. Always said show reminded him of submarine movies, which he loved, combined with sci-fi future stories that came out when he was a kid.