Funny. Once I stop the Dad Memories, my mind closes up, and it’s like I have no memories of him at all: I just have this empty head, with the aforementioned headache. So let’s see…
When I think of my father, a lot of my memories have to do with the feeling of my body next to his. This seems like a dangerous subject, but why should it be? So much of my love for Maud, when she was little, was expressed through touch. So.
I remember a day when my father sat on his bed, and I sat in his lap facing him. We were playing a game where he put his arms around me and then dropped me backwards, so my head nearly touched the floor. Then he’d whip me up, so I was facing him again. We did this over and over, laughing. It wasn’t the game necessarily, that was the great thing about this—it was how engaged we both were in the game together. It was the immense pleasure of the touch and the swing and the blood rushing to my head and then rushing back down again. It was the laughter between us.
There’s so much we take for granted. This tiny moment was just a game. But, then again, it wasn’t: I lost my father not long after that, and I’m lucky that I remember this moment, because it’s one of the early experiences of pure love that I’m able to rebuild my raft on, in the middle of this vast ocean of loss.