May 5th 2008 was actually a day exactly like this - unseasonably warm, bright sun shining in an optimistic sky, a glorious Spring day bringing word of warmer, brighter days to come.
My mom was inside the house, watching TV. My father was outside in a lawn chair, putting pebbles in a flowerbox. After the pebbles would come the soil; he was going to plant some four-o'clocks in there. He went to the side of the yard, presumably to the hose bib, to put some water in the box, so the four-o'clocks had a decent shot at taking.
And there it was that my mother found him, fallen on a cement stoop in front of the hose bib, glasses askew, skin cut but not bleeding. His heart, weakened from three heart attacks and genes that always work against our family, finally just gave out. The cuts that didn't bleed told the doctors that he was dead before he fell.
Cyril Robert Jacobs, my father, the anchor of our family, was 75. And his death broke my heart, in ways from which I still have yet to recover. Two years have passed since that awful, awful day, and I have made no more than an uneasy truce with it.
I sunk into a depression that lasted 18 months. In the last six months I have been able to laugh freely again without guilt; I can remember my dad without tears most days; it cannot but be admitted that the slow passage of time has some curative value.
But I'm still broken. And days like today, where he is all I can think about, and the sun is shining brightly in an optimistic sky, are very hard to endure.
So I'm sorry if I'm not quite myself today. I'll be playing the Very Josie tonight. I hope I play well; my dad was tickled at the fact that I showed some small aptitude at poker.
Hey, thanks for listening. I'm sure this was an incredible downer but it helps to type it out.