My father died on November 26, 2007. It's been a while. Long enough for the scar tissue to start fading. Or so I thought.
Well, on August 9, 2013, my mom remarried.
No big deal, right? But I had just witnessed my mother marry her sweetheart of 5 years. While it was a wonderful day, it did feel like a horrible betrayal to my father- and I know it wasn't- my mother deserves a life of joy and love. So I felt like I was betraying her, too, for not being 100% invested in her happiness.
So I drove home, in our bus, feeling like I've betrayed both my parents- the living one, for not being happy enough. The dead one, for being too happy.
Rio brings me joy. Even in her unfinished state she brings me a sense of pride and causes me to puff up like a blowfish when anyone comes over. But building a boat was my father's dream, too. And working on the boat after 'betraying' my father seemed like the most cold-hearted thing I could do to him after attending my mother's wedding.
I'm a highly emotional person. It's not one of my better traits. My nerve endings grow past my body.
And thus my heart just wasn't in it. I actually got a bit angry at that shabby looking boat, sitting in the yard, staring at me half-finished. It got to the point where I couldn't even stand to look at her. I got so angry that I threw a tarp over her, as some sort of guilt tourniquet. Selfish Julie. Building something her dead father couldn't. Shame, shame, shame.**
My husband was suitably worried. The 'buildies' are a barometer for my emotional well-being. He started pestering me about it.
"You're so close to finishing that boat."
"I'm not touching it."
"I can help you if you'd li.."
I couldn't be persuaded. I was angry. So there she stayed, over the remainder of summer, through autumn, and now through winter. I placed dehumidifiers under the tarp to keep the moisture low (I'm not completely self-sabotaging), and I'm in the process of reminding myself that life is for the living, that moving on is okay.
My father was always pushing me to do the things he couldn't- this boat would have made him puff up, too. And it's really time to finish the damn thing.
So we wait. The weather is currently a glorious 22F (or a balmy -2C, whichever you prefer) so it may be a few months. But I'm here. The scar itches occasionally. But I'm in the right place to finish what I've started. I'm antsy. And there's a pretty little boat in the backyard who is eager to taste saltwater that isn't made of tears.