Google knows me because it carefully follows my every move. It sends me digital ads for reading glasses after I search “funky reading glasses.” It carefully curates my social feeds that align perfectly with the conversations that I have about things, shopping, and life in general. It's creepy, but I have learned to go along with it.
Apps are irritatingly accurate with their endless stream of reminders. Netflix reminds me I have not finished the last season of Grey's Anatomy, and Amazon is keen on keeping me up to date on upcoming sales that strangely mimic things that I have discussed while in earshot of my phone.
But Fitbit takes the cake. Fitbit is an app that is always irritatingly sending me notes and reminders: "Judy, drink your water" and "What’s wrong Judy? You have only walked 500 steps today."
It knows when I am sleeping, and it knows when I am awake. It even knows when I have taken a day off! If it knows so much about me, then WHY OH WHY did it send me an email with the subject line, “Make it all about Dad’s health this Father’s Day”?
Obviously, they were not listening and watching when I was googling "how to write a eulogy," or it would have known that I (we) have made it all about Dad’s health for the past three months and in the end, it did not really work because he passed away May 13. Gosh, if Fitbit had only sent me that note back in April, perhaps I could have done something (sarcasm).
Ever since I joined the ‘I Don’t Have A Dad Anymore’ club, I have been hypersensitive to the Father’s Day ads. Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is something that I must deal with and that companies generally need to cater to the majority and not the minority when it comes to marketing days like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, etc. Regardless, it was kind of funny and horrifying to receive that email from Fitbit.
Grief is strange that way. You seem to be okay and then — BAM! You listen to a song or see something familiar, and the tears start flowing.
On Sunday, while I was cleaning house, I kept saying out loud, “Dad, send me a sign that you hear me. Do something so that I know that you are not totally gone and that you are watching me, hearing me.”
I even got a wee bit angry that he didn’t show himself by a door suddenly blowing open or a bird landing on the windowsill at exactly the right moment.
When my grandfather passed away, he came to me in a dream that was so vivid I woke up with a face and pillow saturated with tears. In the dream I sat on his lap, held his soft hands, looked into his vivid blue eyes and he said, “I’m OK.” I called my mom that morning in tears asking if Grandpa had come to see her that night as well. He had only visited me.
I want that dream, but this time I want to visit with my Dad. I want him to say he is OK, that I will be okay and that he is at peace.
My Dad did have a great sense of humour, so maybe he is engineering the ad from Fitbit just to mess with my head – an ‘I gotcha!’ moment where he and I would have a little giggle about the inappropriateness and poor timing of an email about ‘Dad’s health this Father’s Day’.
I know I have to put my big girl panties on and get on with things. Is there ever going to be a day that I don’t think about my Dad?. I hope not – my memories are beautiful; I just wish he were here in person.
Judy Kucharuk lives and writes in Dawson Creek.