Marking the Day

August 6, 2008

My dad always said "women are the keepers of civilization" meaning they are the ones who maintain the annual and life cycle rituals like birthdays and weddings. He said this both jokingly and appreciatively because he loved these rituals. It was always important to him that we gather as a family to mark an occasion. Even during his last month in the hospital we had several family events (my birthday, my mom's birthday, Mother's Day) and somehow in the midst of his pain and the days blending together in the middle of an ICU room, somehow he was always keeping track of the dates and made sure we marked the occasion. Today is my dad's birthday and I don't know quite how to celebrate it. I am still in such a mixed up state of denial and sadness.Words and images seem to give me the most comfort lately. I find myself looking through family photographs and repeatedly returning to the poem a family friend wrote about my dad. This gives me comfort today. I think part of "keeping civilization" is also marking days like today even if it brings a strange mix of comfort and pain.
Shanea said...

Yes, you are a beautiful "keeper of civilization" and your honor of your father, continues to paint a beautiful picture of him to those who never knew him.

morninglight mama said...

This was lovely, and I believe it was a perfect way to mark the day. I'm glad you have a treasure trove of memories to bring you comfort right now.

meredith said...

I just got lost in a Google search for your grandfather. Love his work and your words about him and your family. Keep on keeping the civilization!

Where are you headed next? We're in VA now!

meredith said...

Okay. Just went back and read up on your life and I am so sorry to hear that Adam is in Kuwait. BUT am happy to hear that you are surrounded by family. Love the picture of your new place with Camille at the table. Simple and homey. Hold tight.

I just literally yesterday let go of the panic, survival mode that I put the kids and myself through last year during all of Joe's deployments. None of us are permanently scarred. Good news!

Laurie said...

Lucia,

I think he was right - women are keepers of civilization, and you are a particularly adept keeper of civilization! You honor your dad's memory every day - just being you.

Corinne said...

What a beautiful thought - and I think he's right. Those milestones ARE important to us and I think that spending your time thinking about your dad, looking at his work and reflecting on his life is the best way you can celebrate him on his birthday.

holly said...

this was a beautiful tribute Lucia. what special memories he gave you.

Heather said...

I'm a few weeks late, but I wanted to let you know I appreciate your way of "keeping" here on your blog, and I feel privileged to be a small part of your life through this medium. I always find such wisdom and beauty when I stop by.

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