Brooklyn Fit Chick
“The Most Difficult Post So Far”
Right now as I type this Blog post it is a beautiful (almost) summer day and I should be drinking tequila and hanging out with my friends for a Memorial Day bash.
Instead I am sipping wine with LOGO-TV’s Facts of Life marathon playing in the background trying to comprehend the last 10 days.
Last Saturday (May 16th) my mother called to tell me my father suddenly passed away. He was at a wood turner’s convention in Provo, Utah (an event he enjoyed for many years) when he did not show up for breakfast. His friends went to his room where they found him on the floor.
It took the coroner a few days to get back to us but he basically fainted, fell and hit his head. He died very quickly at the age of 74.
Funnily enough I had a conversation a few days before with a friend about how in life we show up alone and we leave this world the same way.
However, I would never imagine that for either one of my parents. They were always together, attached at the hip as they say. But that is exactly what happened to Dad—he was alone in his final moments.
After 50+ years Mom had to wait for a week to get his remains.
I was and remain in shock over this news. My father is just gone.
I will never hug him again or regale him with stories about annoying parents and their spoiled children who belong to my gym.
We won’t quote Mel Brooks movies or talk like Fredo from The Godfather (“I’m not stupid—I’m smaaaaart!”)
He will never send me “What’s App” videos with his favorite restaurants in Sparks, Nevada or his newest art works again.
Joe Donohue is no longer here.
It’s only been ten days and people tell me it gets worse before you ever feel like yourself. (If you ever really do.)
Friends have been amazing and kind at this time in my life.
I am raw, emotional, vacant, resigned, “stabby,” resilient and sanguine at any moment you try to reach out to me.
I have no idea if I am behaving properly.
A misdeed enrages me and a thoughtful note makes me weepy.
Yesterday I finally had to GET OUT and leave this apartment for more than an hour to go on with my annual pilgrimage to Far Rockaway, NY.
The bagel shop I bike out to is exactly 15 miles from my apartment and feels like a whole other world.
My father was from Far Rockaway and could not wait to leave when he graduated from high school. It’s never been clear to me why he hated it (and New York in general) so much but he has never had a sentimental attachment to this city.
Joe Donohue was open-minded and enjoyed (nay—revered) friendliness.
Far Rockaway is cloistered and remote. It’s filled with cops, fireman and teachers. It’s an Irish Catholic enclave that never made him feel “at home.”
He felt restricted there. My father who resembled every beat cop on Law and Order wanted to be around people who were curious about the world around them and did not decorate their homes with shamrocks and crosses.
“Marg—why do you want to go all the way out there?” he would ask me.
I would simply say “the Gil Hodges Bridge.”
Every single time I cross it on my bike “Trixie” (which you are technically NOT allowed to do) thrills me to bits.
Me—the total acrophobic who can’t even see someone on a ledge or watch a movie where heights are involved without getting nauseous will cross a bridge with a narrow passageway that is over traffic and has a small railing to keep you centered.
As I venture from Brooklyn into Queens I can see the ocean all around me. The city is fading behind and I can hear people on boats laughing on the Jamaica Bay.
Nothing else matters and all of my worries fade as I move one peddle stroke at a time with the wind in my face and the cars and city busses roaring below.
It makes zero sense that I find any of this pleasurable but there you go.
Yesterday I had an image pop into my head as I peddled furiously to Led Zeppelin blasting in my ears.
It’s me at six years-old insisting my father teach me to ride a bike without training wheels.
He held the bike seat as I struggled to gain my balance and coordination. It was a failure and I became totally mad and frustrated with myself. (Basically me learning anything for the first time, by the way.)
How come all of the kids on Clinton Street can ride a two-wheeler and not me? I’m smart AND a tomboy! This should be like a duck taking to water.
Every day I struggled on my own after dinner until one day it just clicked. I got on that purple bike with the streamers and a banana seat while zipping around like a rock star.
Soon enough I went around the block with that BIG hill. It was the best feeling in the whole world!
Racing home I ran up the driveway and yelled for my dad to come out and watch me. He and my mom applauded as my inner bike goddess was roaring to life.
I still remember how proud he was of me and how he smelled when I gave him a tight hug. (Soap and Old Spice, always.)
Now I must figure out a way to move about the world without him.
This is scary to me but as I crossed that bridge yesterday I knew this is something I am going to have to work out on my own.
I WILL figure it out someday.
That is certain.
Until then, I just need to keep my balance and keep peddling…
(If you are reading this on a different site or a different feed than Brooklyn Fit Chick, it has been taken without permission.)
Until next time…
Brooklyn Fit Chick
Follow me on Twitter: “BrooklynFitChik” (note the spelling!)
You Tube: BrooklynFitChick1
Oh, hone, I am so incredibly sorry. My thoughts are absolutely with you and your family.
Thank you Sue.
I wish I had the most comforting reply ever but I’m afraid I’m just not good in that department. Hugs to you and your family. 🙁
Thank you Tricia.
So sorry to hear about your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with your family right now.
Thank you Kathryn.
I am so so so sorry Margo… I have been thru this in terms of death & sudden…
All I can say is some of the things you wrote are true… it is tough for a long time… it hurts deep.. yes.. we all have to go thru this in our own way…. I just don’t want to put a lot of words to this because this is your hurt, not my hurt…. I just surround you with the biggest hugs ever!!!!! I am here is you need me!!!!!
Thank you so much Jody.
Sigh. I cannot even imagine. My heart goes out to you and yours.
Thank you Marcia.
What a beautiful post…but so raw. I can really feel your pain. It must be so hard, not being able to say goodbye. If I could hug you I would, but this virtual hug will have to do.
Thank you Wendy!
I am so very sorry for your loss. This was a really beautiful post and tribute.
I appreciate that Lauren!
I am so, so very sorry for your loss. What a horrible shock. Wishing you peace and comfort in this difficult time.
Thank you Jenn!
Hugs. I am so sorry. Big virtual hugs mama! xoxo
I like virtual hugs!
I am so sorry for your loss. I know there isn’t but I wish there was something I could do to make this easier for you and your family.
Thank you Jill
Oh I am so so sorry for your loss. I will be praying and sending healing thoughts your way.
Margo, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a very wonderful man. I’m 3 years out from where you are. Do not put any expectations on yourself to feel any certain way. There is no way to grieve a father…you just do it your way and that is the right way for you. The best advice an older and wiser friend gave me was that the first year is going to suck and you just have to go through it. It did suc, the first year was hard but you heal yourself by remembering the amazing memories of your dad. He’s always going to be with you. Sending you lots of love during this time. I’m here for you if you need anything, xoxo
Thank you so much Patty! All of this advice is helpful. HUGS!!!
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know there is not much I can say at this time nor will words do it justice. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you so much Patty.
Sending hugs and love! I’m so incredibly sorry to hear this, it sounds like your father had a very full and happy life. My prayers are with you and your family – I hope you can find moments of happiness in these hard days.
Thank you Sam!!
Gosh, after my father died, very unexpectedly as well, I wrote a blog post that started off, “This is going to be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written.” It’s been four years for me and it has gotten easier. What I have come to understand is that grief is an exquisite emotion and it’s worth feeling.
While there are all kinds of articles and advice about how to grieve and what the process is like, you can’t know what you don’t experience…you can only know it when it happens. There is no way to act properly. Give yourself the gift of feeling what you feel, when you feel it, and try not to judge yourself for any of it. There’s a physical aspect to grief, as well, which surprised the heck out of me.
And finally, look up the work of Dr. Jo Atkins. She’s a special soul put on earth to help with this very thing.
Karen-thank you SO much. This is such a shock and I am still not sure if I am really feeling it yet. I will look up Dr. Jo Atkins. Thank you for all of your advice and the hugs.
absolutely nothing but love, hugs, and an everpresent ear to listen or eye to read texts or messages.
Thank you so much for everything Carla.
What I truly wish for you right now, at this very moment in time, is for you and your family to experience the comfort and peace you need to carry you through this very day. You are loved, Margo. We love you so very much.
ox ox Josie!
Again, I’m so sorry.
I lost my mother suddenly just over 2 years ago. All of those emotions you’re feeling? Been there. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is only YOUR way. And as painful as it is, let all the feelings surface. Pushing them down will only hurt you.
And don’t be afraid to talk it out. Blog, journal, therapy, coffee dates with friends, whatever works for you. Get it out. It helps.
Thank you so much Thea. I really appreciate your support. These are some hard times. Glad to have friends I can lean on!
You have my deepest condolences on the loss of your father. Sending you lots of love right now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, stories and feelings with us. As I read, I was taken back to when I loss my husband and best friend. Like your mom and dad, we were joined at the hip. I lost him shortly after we were married and I was terrified. Terrified because I did not know how to go on with him. Now years later, I still miss him dearly but I’m not that terrified girl anymore. I took 1 day at a time and I blossomed. And I know you will too. God bless you and your family.
Thank you so much Melodye. Your kind words mean the world to me and I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. We need to make sure we appreciate them when they are with us.
I am so sorry for your loss. I have been reading your blog for some time, but I have not commented very much. I just want you to know you are in my thoughts, like so many others who have posted here.
Thank you Aimee.
I am so very sorry on your loss and my prayers to your family