When my body aches, it’s because I pushed it extra hard the day before. When the name of something is on the tip of my tongue, I usually only need a swig of ice-water and a quiet minute to jar it lose. I’m thirty-three. Physically, mentally, I still feel more young than old.
And yet, there are moments when I feel ancient, way past my prime. Most of these instances can be summed up simply as the moments when I realize that when things confound or mystify me, I no longer have that person a phone call away who I expected in that naive, childlike way to solve, fix, put everything in perspective for me.
Kids like to believe that grown-ups have it all figured out. It helps them feel safe and sound. I was a competent child, and yet there was tremendous relief in knowing that many of the things I had yet to master would be handled by the dear old dad.
There’s a floating shelf in our downstairs bathroom that has started drooping off the wall. I don’t have the first idea how to fix it, and I no longer have my Mr. Fix-it to call.
I have four different retirement accounts that I’m sure it would be more reasonable to roll-over into once place. But I can’t even open up the emails without tears pouring down my face.
Sometimes, I feel so deeply, darkly sad and I wonder if this blemish in my brain is just something I need to make peace with, if it will never actually go away entirely. I can no longer ask the only one person whose brain was marred in same way as me.
This is the part of losing a parent that never loses its sting. I now realize that we all have a deep set need to be mothered, to lean on our fathers, and it doesn’t come with an expiration date.