May. 10th, 2011

albionidaho: (Ed's Lab)
My dad died today.

I'm thirty-five now. I had hoped he would be here longer, until I was older.

I need to go home to Heyburn, Idaho this week for the funeral, but in the meantime, I am in the best place I could be.

My dad was in the National Guard at Fort Ord, maybe an hour south from here during the 60s. He loved Ford Ord, he loved Monterey. And he loved John Steinbeck, and Ed Rickets. Both Steinbeck and Rickets lived in Monterey. These three men loved Monterey. And I do, too.

But to be close to Steinbeck, and Rickets, and my father, and to think of them I don't have to go even that far...

John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath while living just west of Los Gatos and in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about five miles south of Los Gatos.

Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath were two of my father's favorite books. And I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, just south of Los Gatos.

I came to this place to heal. To remake a good life. And I carried my father with me, knowing that one of his favorite authors made his mark in these hills. Had created in these hills. Because of that my father and I were close, in spirit. This knowledge, in its funny, magical thinking kind of way, has given me strength and comfort for the past two years.

And now my father is gone. I will go home to Heyburn. But, strangely enough, if there was someplace for me to go, to find comfort, and to memorialize him, I would go to Monterey, Carmel, and to the Los Gatos side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

My father hasn't really left me, I tell myself -- he's here, in these hills, in my heart, in my home.

But oh, I still miss him so.

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