Dear Dad,

I can’t believe it’s been five years and three days since you died. Five years. So much has happened that you’ve missed, much of it things you told me you knew you were going to miss. You were like an oracle in that hospital bed, pointing at the television, telling me my name was going to be on that screen with “written by” in front of it, and that you wished you were going to be there to hold a book with my name on the cover. It makes me wish you’d told more about the future lives of all of us instead of that tangent about the girl you took to prom, the one with the bacne.

It’s always painful when the big moments happen and you aren’t here. But those, in some ways, are much easier to get through. Mom, Bosie and I will call each other, or the moment is big enough that there’s a friend around or many friends around, or it’s happy enough that the joy quickly fills up the ache. It’s the little moments that get to me. It’s hard to get through the moments when you are the only person who would have been able to understand. Read more

sage.

Sage, the smartest dog in the universe, the one who helped my sister survive high school, nursed my dad through chemo and radiation, and helped my mom with both her empty nest syndrome and finding her footing after Dad died, was put down yesterday after sixteen long, wonderful years of life. Sage understood an incredible amount of conversational English and — somehow — Christmas, always opening her present when it was her turn, parading the new toy in a boastful prance before adding it to her seemingly endless collection.

She made it through yet another move into a new house, the one that’s been in my family for decades, where my father grew up. I think she got there, felt the memory of my dad in the walls and floorboards, and knew she’d finally gotten my family to a safe place. That’s when her legs gave out, legs that have had more torn ACL’s than an athlete.

My mom told me the words she whispered into Sage’s ear as she fell asleep for the last time were, “Go find Daddy.” I really can’t think of that without bursting into tears, every single time.

Goodbye, Sage. Wise old Sage. You were never just a dog.

inappropriate behavior

On Sunday morning I got up very early to help Laura raise money for ovarian cancer. Afterwards we walked to my car in the parking garage, only to find someone had hit it, leaving a nasty scrape along the back bumper.

“Oh, Pam. That’s…”

“Someone hit my car.”

“Looks like I’m buying breakfast. Hey, look! There’s a note!”

Nope. On my windshield were seven ads for other upcoming races in the area. Not one note from someone who hit my car.

“You know what’s crazy?” I asked. “Someone parked, ran a race for cancer, then hit my car and drove away.”

“That’s really bad karma,” Laura said. “That guy’s totally getting cancer.”

(Best joke of the race went to Laura’s friend, who admitted once we were finished: “Well, I’m glad that’s over-y.” wheee! too many comedy writers + seriousness = going to hell) Read more

Changing of the Guard

About a year ago, if you’d asked me if I’m a guarded person, I’d have told you absolutely not. I write books and scripts that usually come out of some story from my life. I write quite publicly about my life online, for Pete’s sake. Clearly I don’t have a problem talking about myself. But I don’t write about everything here, and in the last month I learned quite a bit about my guard. Mostly I learned what happens when it goes down, even just a little bit. Read more

I Fold.

I had a dream about Dad the other night.

He had this basement installed in the house, which — whatever — and he wanted to show me all of the antiques he had started collecting. It was a bizarre collection of ugly statues and souvenirs from places he’d never been. Some he bragged about scoring off eBay. Some still had tags from garage sales.

My father, as far as I know, never stepped foot in an actual garage sale. Read more

squishy revisited

So, here we are. One year later. Let me just get this out of the way first: I missed you, too. I missed you very much, actually. It was lonely without you around. After all those days spent complaining that you guys were too much to handle, I felt like a mom who had finally gotten all of her kids off to college. The house was empty and too quiet.

And like a mom who finally gets her wish come true, I got bummed out and watched too much Oprah. Read more