We spent the holiday weekend at my parent’s house. My father’s birthday was on Sunday so it was a combination visit. It was very hard being in their house again. The last time we were there was just two or three weeks after Thanksgiving when everything was still so raw. They are doing better now, the sadness is less immediate but you can still see it there. They have pictures of my brother up in every single room – only the bathrooms are spared – so you cannot get away from him in a sense. He hated that house so much and never wanted to go back there again – he made sure of that. It felt ironic to feel him there now. He’s trapped there somehow, even though he’s gone so far away from us. My in-laws came as well. It was wonderful to have them there. I almost never want to go to that house again without some other people to buffer the experience. My dad is as angry as ever, if not more so, and nitpicks my mom over every single little thing. She’s talking back to him a little more now but still it hurts me to see and hear it. I’m still recovering from it all. It’s kind of like a hangover but without any of the fun of getting drunk first.
On Saturday night my father put on one of the most purposely sad movies I’ve ever seen. It was called Simon Birch and it was about a young boy who is growing up without a father in the early 60’s. His best friend is Simon Birch who is a midget (or a dwarf, I’m not sure). Simon loves his friend and the friend’s mom played by Ashley Judd, and promises to help his friend find out who his real father is. The actors were all charming and some of the scenes were funny but then in a second the scene would change and something awful would happen. I don’t think that there was a dry eye in the living room. It is nice to cry at movies sometimes but I think for our particular group of people, it was a little hard to take. Leave it to my dad to pick a winner! When my mother-in-law asked him if he’d seen it before he said what he always says, I’ve seen parts of it. I’ve now learned that this means, “I need to make you think I’ve seen this movie/book/thing before but I really haven’t. In fact, I have no idea what I’m talking about”.