It was about 2 or 3 years ago, I was standing on the street corner with my boss at the time and the director of the Museum, it was a mid-March, chilly, almost-spring-but-still-winter day. The Mayor, our State Senator, county supervisors and other dignitaries were also in attendance, it was the big unveiling of the cities cultural insititution traffic signage (how we never had signs directing people to The Hyde or the Wood Theatre for so long I'll never understand, but I digress). There I stood, tv reporters, and news writers were taking statements from Senator Little (a woman I've known most of my life as her kids grew up with me and my brother), Mayor Regan (a close political friend of my father's), and the county supervisor who beat my father in the last campaign. I snapped the token pictures with the sign and those that made it happen to tout the accomplishment in our next newsletter. I felt the emptiness, it was so heavy in the air swirling around me. If my father were alive he would have been there. He would have helped to make this happen. He would have been beaming, showing me off to his politician friends, so happy that I was home from New York City, working in Glens Falls and actually using my degree.
I was wearing my Hyde badge, some women from the county said, "oh, you're Tom's daughter, he was a great man." They smiled that sympathetic, "I'm so sorry" smile and then the awkward silences followed. I congratulated the Mayor and my father's succesor. At that moment a fire truck went flying by, charging for Warren Street, lights flashing, sirens blaring. I felt him, he was there in the sirens saying, "you guys did it, I'm so proud of you!" My brother was driving that truck, his childhood dream was to be a fireman and there he was racing through the streets and I, the little girl who would copy the comics on Sunday mornings was working for the most beautiful little museum that we're so lucky to have in our tiny city of 16,000. We're doing what we love to do in our hometown that we adore. We're contributing to the community with pride and doing our best to to do so with honor and integrity.
I caught the end of Oprah today. It was about the new made for tv movie, "For One More Day". I was of course holding Luke and sobbing. John came home and the three of us stood in our living room, crying, hugging and swaying as Nick Lachey sang "An Ordinary Day"...I'm paraphrasing here, but it's something like, "if I had one wish, it wouldn't be for fame or money, it would be for an ordinary day with you".
If *I* had one more day I would want to go back to that streetcorner scene with my father in tow, when it was over we would hop in his car and surprise-pick-up Jacob and Will from school and my mom, Tom, Kristie, and John from work. We'd rush home to a wonderful meal with all of us around the dining room table (somehow Luke would be inserted here even though it was a day in the past, let's let go a little, eh!!), the boys would play throw and catch in the backyard and the girls would watch in awe at how lucky we are to have this family.
Edited to add: That I'd also like a walk down the aisle, I've always wondered what he would have said to me at that moment. Okay, that's enough sap for awhile!