Near midnight and I hear the girls still up giggling. They have each other, and that’s a lot. Dawn says with her brother leaving us this past fall, it forced her to consider her own life and she’d be okay if it was her time to go too. And that’s a good feeling, we agree.
We really had no way of knowing what a crap year 2008 would be. Dawn’s dad died in February and later that same year so would John, my step-dad. It was just April, and my favorite band had finally put out a new record but it wasn’t what I expected and brought me little joy. I bought it on CD at Easy Street and ripped it to my computer so I could play it on my iPod for the flight to Germany. I have no idea why I was going there in the spring. Charlotte would have just been six months old, Lily barely 3. I must have gone by myself.
I’ve got pictures of us out on my mom’s Hof, we got the outdoor patio furniture out and they’d just gotten a big umbrella. John is there with his respirator tank smirking at the camera, still got some spunk to him.
April came and went and we started getting the house ready for sale. It sold in August, a month before the economy tanked. Mom said on the phone, John’s really going downhill. I flew out for five or six days and said goodbye. We were living with Dawn’s mom, Beth. And kept on living there through the following spring into summer, when I took a sabbatical and we moved to Germany with my mom for a few months. And then I went back to work at the end of the year, in 2009. And calculated how long it would be until I could take another sabbatical, how old I’d be, and decided it was too long of a wait.
It took me way too long to appreciate the nuance in that record, called April and released on April 1, 2008. He put it out on his own label called Caldo Verde, named after a Portuguese stew, and I’m making that stew tonight and playing the album and having a gin and tonic toast to my step-dad, John. To April.