I've been keeping myself busy for the week, and trying not to think about my dad. We're headed for Utah to take care of everything on Saturday, and I'm sure with a 25-hour trip and four days camping in the town where he lived I'll have plenty of time to do just that. Right now, there are preparations to make, including a minivan repair (I'd rather not have brake failure in the Rocky Mountains), picking up and adjusting to new glasses (and contact lenses) tomorrow, picking up Magi's nephew who's going with us and hopefully helping with Sera, and packing up our camping gear.
Magi has prepared an entire organized menu for the stay, and has already made several dishes that we can cook using the Dutch oven we picked up a few years ago but never used. We are pretty much always ready for camping, but this time we have to conserve space for bringing back family photos and and a few personal items that we won't trust to shipping companies.
Virtually all of the surviving pictures of me when I was a child are in these boxes. My mother's were almost entirely wiped out by mold, not that there were that many of them from those years after the divorce, I have about half a dozen, and my dad had the rest. It will be something to go through them. I'm just sad that he won't be able to elaborate on any of them or tell me stories from my early childhood. Last year when we tried to do so, he got very upset and was reluctant to think about the past, which if you knew my dad, you would find very unusual.
I'm hoping that my brother will be able to join us there, since I haven't seen him in seven years and my sister (she has a different father; yes, I know that makes her my half-sister, but I've never thought of her that way) should be able to spend some time with us as well, since she also lives in Utah. The three of us haven't been in the same place at the same time since we saw "Braveheart" together, which would make it 1995.
I'd like to spend more time going through Bryce Canyon National Park, which last summer I found to be one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen. It makes the Grand Canyon look colorless and plain. Unfortunately, we didn't know what we were missing until we drove through it on our way out of town. We spent about two hours driving and stopping at overlooks, taking pictures, but it was very rushed. I'd really like to bring my bike, but there's no room on this trip.
I know this is going to be an emotional week ahead, and I'm just trying to put off confronting the fact that he's gone until my first summer school session is over (Friday) and I have the appropriate time to really start grieving. I guess this would be the denial stage, then?