Walking downstairs into my parents’ basement involved navigating a dark patch before you could get to the light switch for the basement lights, so my father installed a battery-powered motion-detecting LED light on the wall opposite that turns on as soon as you’re halfway down.
I walked up and down those stairs a lot this week, and every time that light came on I thought of my father, wherever he is now, whispering quietly “here, Peter, let me turn the light on for you.”
It has been a sad, hard, happy, brutal, emotional, lovely, intense week here in Ontario. It was all made fuller, more survivable, more possible, by the presence of my Mom, my three brothers, my sister-in-law, my nephew, and Oliver, all of whom rose to the challenge of helping all of us make it through a week of remembering Dad’s life, attending to the bureaucratic details of death, and remembering to eat.
Oliver and I are in Toronto tonight; tomorrow we board the VIA Rail train for Montreal, and tomorrow evening we’re overnight from Montreal to Moncton. It’s the slowest possible way home, but that’s exactly what we need right now.