I miss the small things I loved to mock-complain about. The tiny things I’d lovingly tease my dad about. My father would often ask “can’t you just pull it down from the clouds?” when he needed a file from his own computer, frequently came to me in panic telling me he “broke the internet” (no nude selfies required 😉 ), or that his email or Safari had magically “disappeared”. Pops was an adorable tech dinosaur but I miss fielding the strangest questions from him about simple things I took for granted. Like how to share a link, or put an application back in your dock after it ‘mysteriously’ vanish, or search for something on Google like a boss. It’d try to explain to Dad that most people don’t write an entire email in the subject line, or that it was probably a spam request, and remind him I wasn’t a magical wizard of computers ;). And vocab. Bless my father, but he had some unique words to describe things on computers. But ask him about viticulture and bizarre compound words of intense specificity would pour from his mouth. Words that would floor me and have me asking “could you spell that” and “is that from the Italian” like a kid on a spelling bee. Let’s just say bizarre wine-related words sometimes cropped up when we played Scrabble, and I lost many a challenge on words that sounded like total BS but actually meant something obscure like the correct amount of clay to have in soil or whatnot.
I have zero clue how to drive a stick shift car. I never had to bring ice in from the ice man to put in the ice box to keep the ice cream cold. I couldn’t make something out of wood or hang a picture with a level. I can barely set up an umbrella, let alone canopy awnings.
It’s weirdly heartbreaking wiping my old computer. It’s the last time my whole family will have accounts on one Macbook, even if their accounts were used mostly when we traveled. My dad has been a roaring lion, my mother flippers, and me that fucking dandelion for well over a decade (because we’re classic AF), our symbols picked when we bought our first family laptop years ago and migrated through the generations of computers since.
It’s not about the accounts. It’s not about needing to find a new person to ask me bizarre computer-related questions. It’s that these tiny moments I counted on my whole life have ceased. It’s about the changes that happen in life, large and minuscule, when someone died. I’ve found it’s the most random things, at unexpected times, that get me, and it feels like I’ll never break out from the waves of pain and memory crashing above me, barely allowing room for breaths.
I miss so many things about Dad. Those ordinary little moments of laughter. I miss that weirdness. I miss his unique brand of weird. I think sometimes the joke was on me…he’d use one of his made-up phrases with a twinkle in his eye, an expressive eyebrow quirked every so slightly, knowing it would make me laugh. He had a knack for knowing when I needed a laugh, without me realizing.
My father had a way of lifting simple moments out of the realm ordinary. I’m so grateful I learned by example how to “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run” (Kipling).