Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Twelve long years

CHALMETTE, LA - MAY 26:   Olivia Hoffman place...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Thirteen, really, since my father died.
He was Diver's namesake and he died thirteen years ago today while I was five months pregnant with Diver. What a bittersweet time; my child growing within me, my father dying.

His diagnosis of inoperable cancer came at the same time as the news of my pregnancy. The good news we held out to Dad like a flame in the dark, as if somehow it would save him: every sonogram, every developmental stage, every kick; as if the good news would negate the bad and make it not so.

But it was not so. He left us, with his whispered "I love you".

Diver, who never met him, carries his name. But Diver knows him, because we talk about him. He would think Diver a delightful, insightful, throughly charming young man. A Civil War buff, he would take pleasure in Diver's intense interest in the military.

He left a message for Diver, which we keep framed in his room:
"To Baby Boy Diver, who is as yet unborn,
I have seen you in utero.
I regret I will not be able to hold you and kiss your cheek, but I will be with you.
My spirit will watch over you.
Your Mom and Dad and your Grandmother will tell you about me and you will know me.
I love you very much.

Today we remember him.

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  1. I am so sorry to read this. My dad died 4 1/2 years ago; today is his birthday. I was pregnant with √Čiden at the time. It's so hard. It seems like the years since he's died have been the longest I have ever known.

  2. It is hard. Do you talk about him to your boys?

  3. All the time. As is Irish tradition, I have his photo up on the west wall. I also have a shelf with some of his favorite things on it: his pipe, a wrench, some tobacco. We give him stuff on his birthday and Christmas and Halloween (he always stole our candy). I tell them stories, and they are always thrilled when I tell him that they look/act/etc. like their Gramps.