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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Briefcase

Always when I least expect it, something will stop me right in my tracks and make me yearn to see my father again or just hear his voice one more time.

I think they're called grief attacks and they come out of nowhere; it might be a song on the radio, an expression on Lucas' face, or a memory that flashes through my mind in the middle of doing something totally unrelated.

Luckily, these "attacks" usually only lasts a few minutes but they take my breath my breath away and I don't see them ending any time soon.

Recently I was waiting for my suitcase in the baggage claim area at the airport and I saw a man with a beat up old briefcase between his legs that looked just like my dad's. I couldn't stop staring at it.

A briefcase that I keep in my closet because I don't know what else to do with it.

A briefcase that I have only been able to open a handful of times because it physically hurts too much.

A briefcase that is filled with my dad's scent, his check books, keys, business cards notes to himself and wallet.

I hate that god damned briefcase and I miss the man that carried it.

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Blogger Sherri said...

Oh hard to have something you associate SO MUCH with him, but it's painful to own it, too. Maybe it helps to know you have it, rather than having given it away when he was first gone?

Isn't it crazy how memories can take hold of you out of nowhere? Wow.

October 11, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Tonya - I know this feeling (kind of), because I get them occasionally for Jason's mom. It's been 7 years, and we still have the comforter that was on her bed. It's in a comforter bag. I can't open it because it smells just like her. BUt I can't not open it and I can't get rid of it.

I love this post, my friend, but I hate that you lost your parents. xoxo

October 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Alex@LateEnough said...

Oh sweetie. {hugs}

October 11, 2010 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

Oh for the love of God. That's so touching and heartbreaking at the same time. Great post.

October 11, 2010 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

Tonya, this post is extremely touching. I know how much you miss your parents, and I always feel useless because I can't ease your pain. I think that I would also keep something. I maybe wouldn't go near it, but just to know that it's there would be comforting.
Your parents were wonderful.
Sending you all my love xoxo

October 11, 2010 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, as I read the title of this post I was thinking of something that happened recently. It's almost eerie how similar it was to this. We were staying at my MIL's a few weeks ago and as we were moving our stuff around she spotted the brief case my husband keeps his important papers in. The one he got from his dad when he passed. It's been 10 years and the second she spotted it her eyes brimmed with tears and my heart broke for her.

October 11, 2010 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I've never experience the same loss, but I still moments when I imagine someone who is no longer with us. It could be a song on the radio, a car driving down the road or just a memory that flashes in my head. It's not always the big things that remind us, but the little ones from every day living.

October 11, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

It's always a surprise when that happens. Random flashes.

I live now in the house my father's parents bought 60 years ago. The house I grew up in. The house my father died in 6 years ago. And my mother lived here til 3 months ago.
I'm strangely content here. I'm surrounded by years of them living here. There are a few things of my Daddy's that still make me sad. But I think because I'm amongst the things that were theirs, it's harder to miss them. They are still very much here.

October 11, 2010 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

*hugs* The sense of loss can be so great. Hang in there. :)

October 11, 2010 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Mari said...

It's always the littlest things that trigger our memories.

Beautifully written post. The simplicity is what makes it so powerful.

October 11, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I opened that closet that the briefcase is in to get my tennis shoes the last time I was there and seeing it really took my breath away. I miss daddy so much. It's somewhat comforting to know that you are dealing with the same things that I am.

October 12, 2010 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger luckydame said...

How can something so small and inanimate make us grieve all over again? My 'briefcase' is my Grandpa's hat. Just touching it brings back a flood of wonderful memories.


October 12, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Nichole said...

My father died when I was two and I have no memory of him at all.
I always thought that it would have been so much easier if I had had a chance to know him.
But now I see that the pain would have been completely overwhelming.
There is no right time to lose a parent...
Sending you love, Tonya.

October 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger theresa said...

Very sweet post.

October 16, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Nichole said...

This post still takes my breath away.
Beautiful writing.
Tremendous heartbreak.
Much love to you.

December 31, 2010 at 10:29 PM  

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