Let there be light

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.


Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on November 24, 2019 - 04:00 Permalink

So sorry what you're having to go through right now, Peter. Thinking of you and Oliver, FWIW

Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on November 24, 2019 - 05:36 Permalink

Thinking of you all. Taking the slow route home sounds like an excellent thing to do. In my own experience you're in a sort of separate reality during that first week, aware of the rest of the world, but also set away from it for a few meters, slightly shifted. At some point there's a rejoining of those separated universes, and doing it abruptly is much less pleasant than easing yourselves back into it by taking the long route home. Hugs.

Robert Charles Paterson's picture
Robert Charles ... on November 24, 2019 - 08:25 Permalink

Thinking of you dear Peter xx Rob

Catherine Boeckmann's picture
Catherine Boeckmann on November 24, 2019 - 09:20 Permalink

Peter, On this quiet Sunday, I just read your memory of your father and realized he died and you’ve been mourning this entire week. What a wonderful father and what tribute you give through your reflective stories. Thinking of you and wishing you comfort and peace as the calendar pages turn.

Bryson's picture
Bryson on November 26, 2019 - 13:19 Permalink

So sorry to hear about your Dad, Peter. As usual, your story seems to cut through the clutter and get to the emotional tug. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the trail ride - I'm taking VIA the other way in a week.