9 years ago yesterday
Me and my dad when I was little standing by my oldest sister’s grave (stillborn)
Nine years ago yesterday my dad died. I was trying to figure out why I was in such a funk. I remembered several times in the last few weeks; but then yesterday I forgot somehow until my sister called. Its funny how there are some losses that never seem to move farther away from you. When I ‘ve lost a twenty, a job, or even the occasional friend, I have noticed that it loses its sting the further you get from the loss. But with parents it feels more like a star over head – no matter how fast you drive, it lingers overhead steady and unblinking.
I moved to Detroit with my family when I was in middle school. Prior to that point my dad had been working in Houston in the ship channel assisting customs. At the time Bush Sr. was in office and was using national guard troops to assist in the war on drugs – he liked the job and moved to Detroit to become a customs agent full time. He worked for customs until a couple of months before he died of lung cancer (a non-smoker at that). That was January third of ’97. A lot has happened since then – I started college – dropped out, and dropped back in. He never saw me play drums or date or grow to outweigh him (by a healthy margin at one point).
Detroit has been for all intents and purposes my home and stability in the years since his death. I am grateful to the folks at Grace Community church (my old church) as well as my friends that have become family to me. It hasn’t always been pretty or warm with sepia this last decade; but from time to time, staring at the waterfall outside fishbones; or driving down 696 at night, alone on the road; or eating beef nachos at Shores Inn – I have the feeling that there is a continuity to all of this – there is a cadence to return to after life starts throws some arhythmics at us.
Thanks Detroit for making me feel at home. Thanks dad for making me a man.