Late Christmas night Jenn and I watched a movie together and it got me thinking about my Dad. He passed away just a few years ago and it moves me a lot whenever I think about him. I was very close with my Dad, I think back to the times we’d stay up half the night chatting in the kitchen. Who even knows what we could talk about for so long…
My parents divorced when I was a kid, so I spent every other weekend with him. This meant most of the time I lived with my Mom. Of course, this meant she had to do most of the odious disciplining and I’m sure that contributed to the teen angst my sister and I experienced. It’s hard to look back on one’s past without those memories being colored by what one thought or felt at the time. Memories seem like blurry things, I can recall emotions and feelings about events in my life but exact details are difficult to make out.
I’m grateful for the circumstances that intersected leading to the last time I saw my father. Growing up, he lived in St. Louis and my sister and I lived in Omaha. For a time, my Dad didn’t own a car and would make that ~8 hour drive on his motorcycle. I was happy to see him, but as an 8-year-old I didn’t know what that drive was like. I’m not trying to paint him as a superhero for driving a long way on a motorcycle when another man would have bought a car- or when another would have cancelled the visit. Many years later I got a motorcycle of my own and drove the ~8 hours to visit him. To be honest, it was a harrowing experience. But that drive offered me a perspective I had not previously known.
I showed up at his house and we chatted for a few hours. I had been humbled by the drive, and was grateful for his having done so many times in the past. I am normally not humble enough nor grateful enough to those around me, family or friends. But this day, this last time I would see my father, I had been both. A few months later, he passed unexpectedly. I miss him dearly.
I have a very strong memory of that visit. We were happy, sharing stories and enjoying each others’ company. When I happen to think back to that day, it’s a bright memory; one that I cherish.