boots on the ground

February 17, 2009

Been in the Hoosier state since Saturday. It’s brutal at times and comforting at others. Spent the first two days dealing with my dad’s house.  My dad lived like a hillbilly. A domicile for a character from Deliverance. I knew it was bad, but on the scene it was worse than I imagined. The fire gave it a nightmarish quality I hadn’t anticipated. I may or may not post photos. I’m not in a good place to decide how much I need to respect his privacy and how much I need to have this witnessed in a more public forum.

My dad had half brothers.  Strange. I forgot that his dad remarried after his parents divorced.  We never had much contact with that side of the family and I hadn’t thought about any of them until I found this letter in my dad’s dresser from one of his half brother’s telling him his father had died.

I’m feeling insular and detached. Not the best one two punch, but my mom is getting sick and my sister is having a lot of panic, so given that I don’t mind my particular brand of coping. I did meet my dad’s best friend and former boss. Man, this guy Joe is a total stand up solid dude from the heartland. Seriously. He looked after my dad. I’d say he loved him. And by extension he’s looking after us. In that sense, my dad is caring for us and for that I feel lucky, even if Joe only half knew we existed before my dad died.

It was a little unreal though at first, meeting him was, even though Joe’s response was restrained in its sincere and sweet “no shit, you’re Truman’s kids” factor. That part only lasted maybe 10 or 15 minutes. And then for me, there’s the part where I kinda look my dad.  That was the first thing Joe said to me, “You do look like Truman. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad but you do look like him.”


3 responses to “boots on the ground”

  1. JimA says:

    Share what you feel like. We’re here.

  2. liz says:

    Duded, that was so nice. thank you!

  3. » lists: things i cleaning out my dad’s room says:

    […] dad died in a house fire and he also horded stuff, including trash. Going in his house was kind of nightmare. The week my sister K and I came home to deal with everything, we went over to his house almost […]

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