The day my Dad sent trains to my son.

Jasper trains

I promise this is a true story. I don’t really talk about otherworldly moments a heck of a lot, because spiritual presences are a) intensely personal, b) intensely open to mockery, and c) intensely likely to cause a ton of introspective, overly maudlin writing about WHAT does it ALL MEAN. It doesn’t make for stellar blogging. That said, I believe the spirits of our loved ones are always around us (especially riiiight after we have a moment or two where {Read More}

Two years.

dad keely singing

Hi, Dad. It’s been two years since you died. It’s weird; typing “died” feels so harsh, so final. Like it’s rude to acknowledge it in that word. But I’m not feeling particularly fanciful, so neither “passed on” nor “departed” or “shuffled off” are words that feel right to me today. Honestly, using “died” doesn’t feel right to me either, on a number of levels. I know I don’t have to over-explain this one; I never had to with you, pretty much {Read More}

Birthdays and time travel.

dad keely singing

So, this past Monday was my birthday. (And yes, we’re still talking about it, thankyouverymuch.) It was…perfect. It really was. Quiet. Fun. And wonderful, in the way that spending time with the people who appreciate you (even if they don’t mention it while you’re cutting their pb&js into geometrically exact triangles) is wonderful. Oof, 36 year-old Keely would be basically unrecognizable to 26 year-old Keely. (“So…you didn’t dance on any bars? Like, not even a smallish one?”) I was glad {Read More}

The craziest thing I’ve ever seen in the sky. (A Dad story.)

Let me tell you about this dream I had. Only, it one thousand percent wasn’t a dream and I one trillion percent know that I was wide-awake the whole time. With me? It’s weird. So. The day of my Dad’s birthday- what would’ve been his 65th birthday- we celebrated with his favorite meal from the Colombian chicken place down the street. (That’s a joke- they were all his favorite meal.) We sang the Beatles and Springsteen and- even though it {Read More}

To my Dad, one year gone.

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Hi, Dad. So, I miss you. You know this. I know you know this because I’m always telling you this. And you respond in the ways that folks who are desperate for signs are sure to notice; the warmth of a hand on a shoulder, a puffy, heart-shaped cloud on a completely clear day, a third playing of Boz Scagg’s “Lido Shuffle” on major airwaves in 24 hours… This first year without you has been gigantic. And endless. And lightning {Read More}

Puzzles, grief & yelling at screens.

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My Dad and I used to collectively pull out our hair over puzzle games. We uttered angry, not-so-nice words at the computer screen while staring down images of Myst. We reveled in various games’  unlocked achievements, cascaded tiles, deciphered secret codes, and manipulated picture frames that somehow became castle keys. We had entire text conversations which consisted of “This level./I KNOW.” When my Dad first got sick, I sent him The Room, a stunning and immersive game- the kind that made {Read More}

Six months later. (A Dad recap.)

dad keely singing

My Dad, my first hero, died six months ago yesterday. Six months. At times, it’s felt like a blur. At others, it’s been an exercise in holding my breath, bracing for the pain, working out the cramps when I can. Sometimes I click on his Spotify icon, just to see if “daveflynn425” has listened to anything of note lately. To see if maybe there’s any record of those daily playlists we listened to during his chemo and hospice time. Like {Read More}

Grief. And Other Things I Can’t Control.

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I am by no means a grief expert. I am by no means an anything expert. Except for mid-50s to mid-90s rock trivia. In that scenario, I’ve practically got a PhD. Which is not as frequently helpful as you might suspect. And even in terms of emotions, I’m okay at that. (P.J. would probably say that I’m exceptional at that. “Emotions.” As in “having them loudly.” “A lot.”) But working through them in functional ways that make linear sense? Yeah, {Read More}