i am surrounded by my childhood furniture. the painted white wood with brass and flower pulls. i am exhausted. i have been here for 12 hours and my almost 82 year old father is running literal fucking circles around me.
our first and always stop was a visit to the mausoleum where my mother has been for almost 2 years. i actually don’t mind it. my father and i look up at her photo attached to a bronze vase. fake flowers fill the vase from my mother’s arrangements over the years. beautiful deep red roses. her favorite. we do the sign of the cross. first when we get there. then when we leave her. we give our dollar donation and light the fake candle by pressing a button on the red plastic. then we leave. it takes a second for my dad and i not to feel like this whole fucking experience is fake. that my mother is really alive and making us a frittata for lunch.
next step always involves a shopping trip to Wegman’s near his house. it is ridiculously crowded. my father is basically running around the store picking out a fresh melon, prosciutto, and a tiramisu. this is all for father’s day. his holiday. he still plans to cook the meal himself.
“dad, why are we rushing?”
“huh?” he always pretends he cannot hear me.
i remember how i spent an hour at whole foods near my Washington, DC condo the morning before. i fell in love with an orchid that i placed in my small cart. it was beautifully expressive with white and purple and darker purple and lighter purple. i could not stop smiling at her. i moved so slowly. i took every turn with caution so she wouldn’t get jostled around. i picked out $200 in fresh fruit, cheese, nuts, and wine for my father. i felt so at ease. i was off work. it was early in the morning. it was just me, whole foods, and my beautiful new addition to our home.
then i was jolted back to wegman’s as my dad was yelling at me
“adriana, ask the guy how much the beefsteak tomatoes are. i don’t see a price.”
i asked my father if i could stop at the coffee bar in Wegman’s and he told me there was no time.
“why no time? what else are we doing?”
“huh?” he answered.