March is a very hard month for me and it’s all because of that incredible man in the picture above. March 5th is my father’s birthday and March 17th is the anniversary of his death. The 5th always sneaks up on me due to the fact that February is birthday month in our household. I, my husband, and both our mothers celebrate our birthdays in the last half of the month. I’m basically just coming out of my cake and gift haze when all of a sudden, it’s March 5th and the melancholy sets in. As you can probably tell from his smile and his twinkling blue eyes, he wouldn’t have wanted it that way. But only 3 years into “life without Bruce”, I can’t yet give him the peace he would want for me, its still too hard.
I was lucky enough to be able to take an epic, cross-country road trip with my dad in the summer of 2006. We flew to Georgia in order to buy a car. Not just any car, but a Road-master, wood paneling and all! Bruce loved this car! He had spent countless hours searching online for just the right one and had settled on this one owner, low mileage, blue leather interior, Brady Bunch seated beast. We landed, bought the car and then hit the highway for home. It was a wonderful trip that included Graceland, Beale St., Arches Natl. Park, Moab, and lots of open road. Now Bruce wasn’t a man who bought much. Three meals a day, gas, and one car were pretty much all he purchased on that trip except when we spent the day in Arches Natl. Park. He had aspired, in his youth, to be a history teacher and he, like me, had a thing for maps. So he got himself a large format map of the area’s topography. It was absolutely beautiful in it’s tone on tone browns with the striking teal of the Colorado River running the length of it.
This map came to belong to me on March 17th, 2009 when he passed away in his sleep from congestive heart failure at the age of 59. I’ve been wondering how to honor this map, one of the few items he left behind. So when my sister saw the perpetual calendar I had made a few weeks back and asked for one as a way to record the day to day of life with her first child, arriving in April, I knew I wanted to make it meaningful, and I had just the materials to do so.
My sister’s request, my March melancholy, and the need I have to somehow connect my dad to the grandchild he will never meet, led me to make this calendar.
I have plenty of map left to make one for myself. I think I’ll use it as a symbolic way to tell Bruce about all the little and big things the Bub does during this precious lifetime.
Keep pressing on,