March has historically been a cleansing month for me, but as many emotional milestones that can be counted for me in March, none are more significant than the anniversary of my father's death on March 16. As my own boys turn into young men, it's increasingly important for me to recognize the influence and effect I have on their lives.
A friend whose father died only a couple of years ago was nearly overcome with emotion as she touched on his life. He was a noted philosopher and scholar and authored a few texts, one about the philosophy of aesthetics. He died two years ago, but judging from her reaction, it was as if he had died yesterday. Although my father's death seems like a completely different lifetime ago, on days like today, it seems like just yesterday when I stood over his open grave in a dusty cemetery in Mexico and promised him so many things, most of which I don't even remember.
I picked up a stone from the cemetery at his funeral and put it in my pocket. As everyone flowed slowly from the gravesite, I put it back on the ground and said I would be back. I've been back a few times since, but not since my sons were very young. They're older now and it's time.
I think often about my life and I sometimes wonder what he would think of it and instinctively I know that he would be happy about the direction I'm heading, but I also know that there are things that he would want me to improve upon. As deeply hurtful as many of the years of his life were for many of us, I know, for me, that I still love him deeply and I wish he were here to see his grandsons grow into young men and his only son grow into a human being.
Despite the heartbreak of his death and the heartbreak of other deaths and relationships, I'm not miserable. I'm quite happy, actually. So many things and people in my life and I have myself to thank for most of it.
It's what I make it. The good and the bad and I'm *so* grateful for all of it. So grateful.