To Boldly Go Where Many Have Gone Before

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

And so began the seven season (178 episode) journey. I’ve started the month of September with an idea. To watch the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation, again. Why, of all the shows on my ever-growing list of catching up to do, why choose a show now thirty years old. Because, TNG was Dads and my show. We’re coming up fast on the one year mark since he passed. I thought it fitting to relive some of what we bonded over, all those years ago.

The Cubs, Computers and Star Trek

The three biggest things that bonded us together: The Cubs, computers and Star Trek. Often in that order, but not always. I can remember watching Dads collection of ST:TOS. Many episodes, more than once. Then, in 1986, my favorite Star Trek movie, The Voyage Home, premiered. 1987 brought us Captain Jean-Luc Picard and NCC-1701-D. If I wasn’t already hooked on Star Trek by that point. I definitely was after their encounter with Q. The Enterprise became our home (Far) away from home, together. Possibly, because it coincided, more or less, with the official end of my parents marriage. During our weekends together, Saturday nights became Star Trek Night. I probably asked too many questions that Dad would try his best to answer to a 9 year olds satisfaction.

Today, and for the last year, I’m overwhelmed with a mix of sadness and nostalgia. Neither one completely separate from the other. Desperately holding on to nearly 40 years of memories. All the while, praying that somewhere, out there, Dad knows how much he’s missed, how much he’s loved and how damn sorry I am that his last days were spent in pain. If I could have one more day to spend with him, I’d like to say that I’d tell him all the things I never had the chance to. When, in reality, one more Cubs game on TV followed by a Star Trek marathon would feel the most… satisfying. I can sit here and share all the thoughts and things that I should’ve said. But, if given the opportunity, with him by my side, I would rather just have a bit more fun with Dad.

To be truthful. I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone but me. I reread it and the others I’ve posted and sometimes they sound clear and others it all sounds like a jumbled mess with no real beginning, or end.

Emotional Wreckage

Emotional Wreckage

On September 27th, my dad passed away after three weeks in the hospital following triple bypass surgery. Obviously, the last 5 weeks has been an emotional whirlwind. Two memorial services, planning the spreading of his cremated remains and going thru 3 generations of memories and mementos. Mixed within all of that has been me working 40+ hours a week, sorting out his debt and explaining to those debtors that he left nothing behind to pay them. That also goes hand in hand with having to set up an online fundraiser to get the funds to have his memorial services as well as to afford the flight to California next month to spread his remains.

Emotionally, I’ve never dealt with anything of this magnitude before in my life. Yes, this sort of thing is inevitable. That doesn’t mean I was anywhere near ready for it, nor did I think I’d be handling it before I turned 40. Then again, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be saying goodbye to my father before his 60th birthday, either.

It was incredibly hard, watching family and friends pay their last respects to Dad. Though, I’m certain that spreading his ashes will be the most difficult moment of this emotional journey.

He was my best friend and a huge part of the lives of so many other people. Two articles were written by local newspapers following his passing, I’ve linked to them below:

I love you Dad. I hope you enjoyed the World Series as much as we did. The Cubs finally won it all! If nothing else, I know you had the best seat in the house. I just wish you were here to celebrate it with us.