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Should I die, this blog will serve as my son's source of virtual mama.

If I live, I won't have to repeat myself.

sigers writes fiction and nags her son in austin, texas. 

I want you to know what happened during the ten days it took to bury my father.

So.

I did the thing that I said that I would never do. I was daughterly to my father.

I called every major phone company. I threatened and begged and renegotiated my father’s cell phone bill. I figured out a mystery charge on his bill. I got him a free new phone with a bright screen. I made it so he could receive photo and video missives from his grandson’s fan club. His bill would be thirty dollars cheaper. I paid the bill he owed.

This is a daughterly thing. Daughterly things, in my mind were reserved for my mother. My mother does motherly things. My father did not do fatherly things. And my lack of daughterly responsibility for him was my little revenge.

But this January, I did this rare, daughterly thing for him. It felt good. I tested it many times and found it sound. Not too much. No major cost to me. No regret. 

And in a plot twist worthy of a Lifetime movie, my father died on February 1.

I have this amazing ability to detach from my body. Anything too big or too sad or even too happy, sends me immediately into a chapter of John Berger’s Ways Of Seeing. I am impartially piloting myself across the room, watching myself from afar. Pain, impact, scratches to this body are all inconsequential. 

It’s a very useful tool for keeping my head when others lose their shit. 

I have tried, in several situations to climb back inside and feel. It doesn’t work. Then I think about me thinking about pain and the echo effect dampens the whole thing until it is clinical. Not emotional.

“We’re going to all get together tonight and talk about what we’re going to do,” said my sister. I repeated that to myself over and over again. It was a little obsessive. I used different inflections. I picked through each word.

“We’re going to all get together tonight and talk about what we’re going to do." 

"We’re going to all get together tonight and talk about what we’re going to do?" 

"WE are going to get together … what we’re going to do." 

The idea of the eight of us ever doing anything together was blowing my mind a little bit. All eight of us have never been in the same room together. A few of us have launched minor initiatives to annoy our father. Hide all his guns. Critique the state of his underwear. Nothing major. And now WE are going to plan and execute our father’s funeral and burial.

"We’re going to all get together tonight and talk about what we’re going to do." 

The concept of it made me get stuck with one foot inside and one foot out of my body. The only emotion I was mustering up was confusion. But a huge, hiccuping confusion that kept sending me into this odd repetitive loop.

"We’re going to all get together tonight and talk about what we’re going to do." 

Are we? Should we? How would that happen? WE? As in all of us? What would you want me to do. Is this something that I could send the Senior Vice President version of me in to do? Should I? That version is, perhaps, not very likeable in certain situations. It takes a while for a team to gel.

WE would have to do this. We? Should we be doing this? Do we have to? Do I want to? Is this a daughterly thing? I think I need time to decide if I want to do this one. Aren’t his sisters and brothers more qualified? Does he talk about what he would want done with y'all? WE? TALK? TONIGHT?

I spoke to my aunt, my dad’s sister, who was already moving into position to do what must be done. For breaking me out of my programming glitch, I will be forever thankful.

After that, I felt free to retreat and watch how this was going to go down. How was I going to take the death of my mostly absentee father who loved me? I was just as curious as everyone else.

This story is going to have to be broken into several posts. I’m writing this on Sunday. The funeral is Saturday. And I’m going to be a coward and not post anything until after that. But I’m also not going to change any of the content either.

Also? I have NO IDEA what lesson I want you to get from this whole thing.

Be a good father or your daughter will blog about you? 

Maybe I want you to know me better? Or to understand that family can be complicated?

I don’t have a neat bow for this yet. But whatever this is, I suspect that it is a gift. And it is mostly just important that I give it to you.

I want you to know that I was wrong, and I was right.