#37 It's Sure Nice Talking to You
Is it weird that I think about my dead parents so much? I think about them all the time: their voices, their mannerisms, their idiosyncrasies. Stories about life with them are top of mind, always. Some days it feels like everything reminds me of them.
I mean, I wrote a whole show about them. It doesn’t feel sad or maudlin. It feels normal.
Is it because they’re dead? Did I talk about my family or my upbringing this much BEFORE? I don’t know. I don’t even remember what I was like BEFORE.
A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to know if my parents thought about me as much as I thought about them. So, I got a recommendation for a good medium (Is it weird that this is really, really easy? I just asked my richest, most-recently divorced NYC friend.)
The medium told me that my parents were happy together in the afterlife. Proud of me, checking in on me all the time. My mother, Fancy, “came through” strong and fast, which makes sense. She was always ready for a good gossip session. Also my sisters had seen mediums (What's the plural here? Medii?) before and Fancy always came in hot, barreling over other dead people if necessary.
Dad was there in my reading, too. But he was quieter, letting my mother take the lead. I like to think that he was happy in his version of heaven, which I imagine means he’s stretched out on a hammock reading 2 books about WWII at the same time while a mafia movie plays at top volume.
Oh, and a dog. Always a dog.
The medium also told me to look for signs that my parents are with me. Fancy will come to me in butterflies and Dad in coins. I immediately thought of the car that originally belonged to Fancy but that all of us girls ended up driving at one time or another. It was a chocolate brown ’77 Pontiac Grand Prix with a white vinyl T-Top roof. Fancy decorated the t-top glass with butterfly decals. The coin thing also made sense — I have a special memory of Dad rolling quarters for me so I could do laundry during my brokest early NYC days.
Earlier this week I took a long walk through my neighborhood. It felt like everywhere I looked, there were butterflies: little plastic ones sticking out of window planters, clip art on a “cleaner for hire” flyer, and — dramatically, hey look over here! — a wall painted with butterfly wings.
Hi, Mom. I see you. Thank you. I love you.
When I got home from my walk, I did the thing where you check to see if anyone is actually reading your blog by checking the little “analytics” tab.
(Hey, you! Thanks for reading!)
And I saw that there were people coming in from Google and the Risk! Podcast site. About 7 years ago, I took a class with the wonderful Kevin Allison. If you’re not in the NYC storytelling world you probably know Kevin from the insanely funny MTV sketch comedy show, The State. Kevin helped me craft a story about Dad and me and then the folks at Risk! produced the hell out of it. Kevin, unfortunately, lost his dad recently so Risk! put together an episode featuring stories about fathers. I’m so honored that my story is included in the episode. You can listen to it HERE.
Hi, Dad, I see you. Thank you. I love you.