My father had a serious spider phobia, the source of many funny stories and practical jokes.
My brothers inherited this phobia, and while I reserve the serious heebie jeebies for house centipedes, I am not a huge fan either. In 1998 I actually moved out of a cottage in Grand Cayman when a huntsman spider the size of my whole hand with her peach-pit-of-an-egg-sac moved in. You would have too.
Yesterday, my sister and I were finally going through the last of our father's things, listing and itemizing and donating. This task keeps falling off our To Do list, because once we are through all of this, the alligator suspenders, the tasseled loafers, the five gallon hats and the linens (that still, freshly-washed smell so much like him a year later Piper insisted I make them into her bed last night), the last physical vestiges of our will be gone, and that will be sad.
But we had promised my mom to get them out of her basement by the end of the school year, so we took the last of our kid-free mornings to conquer the task. I told Linden at the beginning that I was determined to stay lighthearted. We would not linger over photos or get depressed or bury our faces in his dress shirts. This was harder than either of us thought.
As I reached for one of his signature leather Orvis vests, I saw the most hideously huge wolf spider that skeeved me out so much I dry-heaved. So of course, I made my 7-months-pregnant sister deal with it while I filmed.
(I actually have made a lifelong practice of surrounding myself with people who do better than I would in a crisis.)
After he was safely relocated far far away from either of our houses or vehicles, after we wiped the hysterical tears from under our eyes my sister and I realized: somewhere, up in Heaven maybe, Dad is doubled over laughing.
Thanks for helping keep it light today, Dad. We miss you.