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In Between Days…

Some people simply overstay their welcome. I spend the day making tea and coffee and small talk, to the point where a migraine hits me mid-afternoon. While it is wonderful to see school friends and people I have not seen in 30 years or more, it is exhausting.

The family starts arriving. I decide to cook a decent supper. We have had so many chicken pies donated. I make crispy roast potatoes, green beans with mushrooms and sticky sweet potatoes. Comfort food.

Tomorrow is the celebration in the Barry church. The thought of this event is enough to give me another migraine. I just want to be quiet at home now. I do realise the importance of these rituals, but somehow they also exhaust me to the core. We do this for my Mom – if my Dad had his way none of this would happen. Yet we know how important it is to celebrate his life.

Apparently, my Dad gave instructions to the Pastor. All I want is for it to be over. There is a silent expectation of me to take charge. To be the son who sorts things out, make the speeches. I go through the motions. The reluctant adult.

Tonight I use my Father’s bathroom. His toothbrush and toothpaste sit in the little container where they have been for years and years. When will we throw that away? His razor on the windowsill – what will we do with it? I have a beard, I do not need an electric razor. His watch. The t-shirt and pyjama shorts that he wore on the night he had the stroke are now washed and ironed, neatly packed with all the other laundry.

My Mom says that she constantly thinks that she must phone him to nd out when he will be home. They phoned each other several times a day when my Dad was on his motorbike trips. I look at his presence in the house and know that it will forever be there. His earphones, his clothes in the cupboard, his spectacles, his diary, his cellphone, his wallet. His motorbike, his helmet, and all his tools were in the garage.

Tomorrow we will do the official goodbye. I have no idea what to expect.

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