Letter

19 Dec

I was going through PostSecret’s updates last week (December 12th) When I came across this one:

It kind of hit home with me. To clear things up, my father, Jim, died 8 months before I was born from Leukemia. Not many people know this, but it’s something I’m thinking about more and more recently and I think it’s fair to share with those who read… my mom and my nan, haha.

In a selfish way I wish I got a letter too, though I never thought about it before seeing this secret and from what I hear… I’m not fully sure he was capable of writing a letter when it got to a certain point. When I look through his things, or when I visit his grave, I can’t help but feel a bit awkward, and a little nervous knowing I know very little about Jim. Who he was, what he liked apart from skidoo-ing, hunting and being a pretty typical Newfoundland guy. I really only know that he and my mom met at Memorial University, which is out in Newfoundland. I am told sometimes that I remind people of him, I know he wanted to study at Concordia University to become a pharmacist, and I think he failed calculus a few times. I jokingly blame him for my lacking with math.

As much as I want to know about him, I know it’s still hard for my mom and my Nan to talk about it, as I can fully understand because they lost a son, a husband and a father. Not even a year married and my mom was 23 at the time and of course a mother never wants to bury their child or see them go through such a thing. So even though it’s 25 years later, it’s still pretty hard. I choke up sometimes thinking about it, even though I have no emotional grief about the situation or the physical loss, I still lost something that day and just the thought of my mom and nan and the rest of the family at the time going through something that hard is tough to think about.

I also find it really awkward with my dad, step-dad officially, he came in when I was 2 and has done a very good job with my mom and myself since then. I’ve gotten really close with my dad over the past few years and I appreciate our relationship very much. I don’t want him to feel anything negative about me talking about Jim, so I don’t really bring it up when he’s around. Even though I’m very sure he respects my curiosity and it’s importance I just don’t want to hurt him or make him feel anything that he really shouldn’t. He’s a big softy that way.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m blogging about such a thing. Maybe it’s a backhanded way to tell my mom and my nan that I do want to know about him, but I feel awkward and almost guilty bringing it up a lot of the time because I don’t want them to relive that part of their lives. Also, going to Newfoundland this Christmas will open a few doors for that exploration without too much sadness when it should be a time for a happy occasion.

This whole thing is another reason why I use orange for my colour of choice in “branding.” Orange is the colour of the Leukemia awareness ribbons. Even though it isn’t really all that evident, I like to think I’m doing a small part to help the cause.

I’m quite sure my nan can bet on me snooping a little for family albums when everyone has gone to bed, hint hint…

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