*I keep dreaming about my father, which is a gift, but a challenging one, as I miss him, and wake in a state of longing and sadness, as well as joy for having had him in my life. Like so much of human experience ~ it’s complicated. Father’s Day is almost upon us, and it seems right to finish this archival trip – which ends in just a few weeks, and only a handful – less – of journal entries on that date, or before? We’ll see. Thanks for reading.

April 29, 2010 Stable For Now

Yes, my dad is stable for now and so too can I be although I find myself constantly anxious awaiting the next crisis. I am also directing a bunch of teens (a gaggle of teens, a worry of teens, a triumph of teens, a nightmare of teens??) in Carousel for which there is still so much to do, I feel myself in desperate need of the weekend. That, thank goodness, is almost upon us, and one of the wonderful, marvelous, amazing teens has taken over my a.m. breakfast and dog walking duties for me at my dad’s, so that I can rest and rest and rest in the morning. I know things are bad when I have three weeks of New Yorkers waiting to be read, among other things I like to do/read when I have the time. And my house is filthy, although I did vacuum and change my sheets before leaving for the Berkshires last week. And I’m up to date on my laundry. Sigh!

My older sister will be here Saturday, my father informed me this a.m.; good. Perhaps I will call in and take the entire day for myself, after working in the a.m., that is. The weather is predicted to be gorgeous all weekend and I am looooonnnging to get digging weeds, biking around, and doing some guilt-free lounging on my patio with those same NYers and several books I have been waiting to crack. Let me at’em! Yes, I have a costume plot to work out and yes, I have a set plot to work out, and yes, I could mop the floors with all of the windows open. I could. We shall see. I have soup (French onion) to make as well. And props to work on – argh, this low-rent theatre nonsense is for the birds…this is my last show with the wee ones though, and so I bravely soldier on.

Yesterday I received a speeding ticket (horror of horrors) for driving 74 in a 55; the Trooper stopped two of us at once and the other guy was doing 78 in a 55. Har! I was late to work, had to go somewhere before actually getting there in a work-related vein (free books for kids in Delhi) and had made a longer than absolutely necessary stop at my dads prior to leaving because I have a compulsive need to stop by. I know I am not using my best judgement right now and I also know that – honesty compels me to confess – I speed all the time. Still, I will plea not-guilty and try for a reduction…why not? Life is good and TG tomorrow is Friday.

May 4, 2010 Uncle Bill

Yesterday my Uncle Bill died. I had a good weep for him, and of course today he has been much on my mind. My dad’s eldest brother, William George Mueller, Jr. had a very unique voice and looked, these last twenty years especially, so much like my beloved grandfather I both loved and, missing my gramps, hated seeing him. He was an educator, a farmer who went into teaching, and ended up as Principal at a local school whose merging with another tiny rural school, my alma mater, my dad’s and his, he helped move forward. He then left the Catskills for the Hudson Valley where he served as Principal (superintendent? I’ll have to check that out) in the Hudson Valley for many years.

He was born July 7th, although I don’t know what year and was married on that day as well. My dad thinks he would’ve been 87 or 88 this coming July and he died the way we all should, safely, peacefully, after playing half a round of golf. He was driving home with a friend and pulled over saying he didn’t feel well, and was gone. Not bad.

My cousin JoAnn thinks he planned his death; he had not golfed in over twenty years but yesterday and the day before that he hit the course in hot, humid weather. In the same way in 1980 my grandfather chopped wood in intense heat and humidity, dying as Bill did, from a heart attack following the exertion. I am so thankful my uncle was able to visit my dad last month. It was the first thing my father said to me when we spoke, how glad he was he had seen him this last time. At the time my dad said his brother looked awful, frail and purple around the mouth, and it was all I could do not to say, “hello, have you looked in the mirror lately, buddy?” in a classic pot calling the kettle black scenario. My dad looked up to his older brother quite a bit. I don’t know how this will affect him; we shall, as in all things, have to wait and see.
Rest in peace, Uncle Bill, rest in peace.