“We live only to discover beauty
All else if a form of waiting”
This is the end of the pics from my recent trip to DC. This was the first time I had really spent unscheduled time in the city. I had been there numerous times. But always as part of a group or for a particular event, such as my father’s service at Arlington. So I might have thought I was making the trip for the 100th Cherry Blossom Festival but it was really a homecoming of sorts. My father was born and raised in Washington, DC and it’s where my parents met. I saw the neighborhood where they had apartments. My mom had met my father previously but learned once she moved that they were now neighbors. Eventually they took a trip to Delaware with family members and I’m pretty sure that’s where I was incorporated. lol They set off before I was born to set up in New Orleans and the rest is my history.
Anyway, I wish I knew more about my dad. I wish I had gotten to know him as children can only after they reach a certain level of adulthood. But he’s been gone now for 15 years and I didn’t get that opportunity. But I remember that he liked Gibran. As we walked down Embassy Row I walked into the memorial garden and almost immediately the waterworks started. I didn’t cry at the funeral all those years ago. I was as stoic as the soldiers who saluted with rifle fire or folded the flag. I was commended for being an excellent representative for the family. But as soon as I sat on the bench at that garden I didn’t think the tears would stop.
And I sat there with a man who simply tucked a tissue into the bag I had slung over my shoulder. A man who has much of the same quiet nature, inner gentleness, and intellectual curiosity. A man my father would have liked. I’m sorry he won’t get to know my father either. Catharsis? Maybe. Cleansing? Likely. That’s how grief works. Mysteriously. In layers. Labyrinthine. Time stops and races. It feels like yesterday and forever.