Tomorrow I am speaking at Marin County, which is the same place that I found out my dad died. Because I had turned off my phone that day, I had found out through my brother via google chat. I remember looking at my computer, seeing the message, then closing it and walking away. I had no idea what to do. I went to Mary Jane Burke, a person I had met only once, but knew that had the biggest heart ever, and told her. She dropped everything, took me to a room, and made sure that I was able to call my mom. Obviously I was not going to finish my day, and I remember Mary Jane saying, “we really want you to come back some day and speak to us”, so here I am.
It has been a week that I have been needing to happen. That week, I was in the middle of a “vacation”, and had to cut it short (obviously) because of the passing of my father. I decided to come here early, and just be. I don’t want to term it that I needed “closure”, but I guess I just kind of wanted to be here with the thoughts of my dad.
I remember specifically being driven to my hotel (they would not allow me to drive) after the news, and going over the Golden Gate Bridge. As we drove over, I could feel my dad there and not there at the same time. I have no idea how to explain it, but that bridge will always remind me of him. I can see it in a movie and be brought to tears. I took yesterday to spend some time on my own, and on the advice of a good friend, grabbed a bike, and headed out to the bridge. I wanted some time with my dad. As I biked up those steep hills, I got to this point at the top, and no one else was around. Then I saw the sun shine in a way that I had never seen it before. I snapped this picture.
I could feel my dad there, and for some reason, I felt not only the presence of my dad, but that he was proud of me. I am not one for stopping and admiring things, but that moment I was frozen and I took it all in. Again, these are things that I can’t explain, but it was just my feeling at the time. I needed to feel that.
There was one other thing that I distinctly remember that day.
Mary Jane came into the office where I was talking to my mom, visibly upset, and she placed a rock on the table that was in the shape of the heart. Honestly, at the time, I thought it was just weird and made no sense, and to this day, it still doesn’t make sense. To not come off as being rude, I took the rock and kept it with me on the ride home. To say I am fidgety would be an understatement, and while driving home, that rock was in my hands and I constantly rubbed it between my thumb and fingers in my right hand. When I saw my dad for the first time after he passed, I did the same thing, and again during his funeral. I had amazing support from family and friends during that time, but that little rock, that made no sense to me, calmed me and made me feel at ease. I took a picture of it and the sight of it can put me into tears, but in a good way. It will always remind me of my dad and that little thing, that made no sense, has helped me more than I could have ever imagined.