I went to visit my Dad today. Joe wanted to go for a drive and that led to a plan and we ended up in Pakenham meeting my mom and my Gramps for ice cream (at Scoops, the best ice cream place in the Ottawa Valley). Dad is buried in Almonte with his parents, my grandmother’s parents and my great-grandmother’s parents.
My Dad’s father died in 1956, 25 years before I was born, but I’ve been learning a lot about him through papers we found in my dad’s house. Grandpa Scanlon – Jack – fought in both World Wars and wrote a daily diary. The more I learn about him the more I know I would have liked him.
I mean, God knows how much I have benefitted from my relationship with my Gramps, and how much I love watching him love my daughter.
This is the second time I have gone to visit my Dad’s grave. The first time I just felt like I needed to, today it was Father’s Day. He didn’t actually care much about Father’s Day. The crafts I made at school usually ended up as gifts for Gramps or for my Mom, both of whom were a lot more present in my life growing up than my Dad was. But still, we were nearby and it seemed like an appropriate thing to do.
It’s funny, when I go I’m never sure what I’m going to do there, but generally I end up talking to him a bit. When I was by myself I just sat there next to the headstone, and I talked to him.
Today, while I talked to him – which is something I’ve been fairly desperate to do these days, what with classes ending and finishing my internship and trying to figure out what comes next – I realized something.
I always assumed that someday I would have all the answers. Someday the path would be clear.
The path has never become clear.
Just about everything I’ve done in my life has been something I’ve sort of fallen into. When I’ve thought about something and made a decision over a period of time it’s almost never worked out. When I hated my job I applied to university to get out of it, when I impulsively invited Joe over we kissed and ended up married.
We bought the house we live in over the course of a week. The kid was not entirely planned…
I will never know all the answers. Dad would not have known the right answers. There are no right answers. I go with my instinct and seem to end up in the right place.