Thanks to the magic of the internet, I still have the voicemail my Dad left me when he called because he needed to tell me he’d been diagnosed with cancer. It’s equal parts “Don’t worry,” and “I have some news,” and “don’t try to sleuth it out of anyone else,” and “I might be working on a quick plumbing repair when you call back,” and so cheerful and so very Dad.
I’d been searching though old messages for something cute and baby-related from my sister (who is due in six weeks, woot!) when I found it.
The bad part is finding a two-minute emotional landmine that google voice conveniently lets me know was left just nine months ago. And I hate how great and healthy he sounds compared to conversations we had after. And I hate how he was so positive about getting sick and getting through it at first, and later how positive he was about dying. And I hate that we had so many of our last conversations over the phone and text messages. And I really fucking hate that at the end he asked about me and I wasn’t there.
I listened to the voicemail a few times and bawled and texted my sister and then called a friend, who classily showed up at my door a few minutes later with red stripes, rum and a willing ear. I made him look at pictures like the one above and we talked about how awesome Dad was and how shitty it is that he’s gone. And we talked about the message.
The good part is that I have this amazing little piece of him — and how he sounded before he got really sick — inside my internets. The better part is that I got to have and know a great dad (not a perfect dad, but still great).
I know that the sadfeels are going to keep on coming for, like, ever. But that’s ok.