This past holiday season we traveled to my Mom’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. We almost managed to get the whole family there but 1 branch of the tree had to be somewhere important. We have a new member of the US Navy in our family, now, and we are all just incredibly proud of her. I remember hearing that she was going to graduate to being a sailor and grinned, in spite of knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make it to her Grandma’s for Thanksgiving and that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the honor of attending her graduation. I am still beaming and extremely humbled that she asked me to be invited to the event. I recall thinking out loud that my father – her grandfather – would have been fit to busting open in pride.
When I arrived at the family home, my uncle was there, my father’s only sibling. I was astounded at the resemblance he now bears to Dad. Thought I knew it was him, of course, there was a moment of two when I first saw him…
It’s been 10 years. The weight of that thought landed on me as I looked at my uncle helping my Mom out with dinner preparations that day and it’s been floating through my mind ever since. This year, with a decade now between us and our paths continuing to diverge, I want to take a special notice and pause just a little longer to reflect on how much he formed my life, how much I owe his efforts, and how much I miss him. My daughter is playing basketball, now, just like we did back when I was her age. Dad was pretty good at the hoops and I know he’d love watching her play. He was a brother Knight and I’d like to think we’d both be 4th Degree members of the Knights of Columbus, now. I just managed to actually replicate his annual success at making divinity, a holiday treat tradition of his. I can’t imagine how happy he’d be knowing that we could all make the stuff. (And he’d be able to have some that didn’t require him standing over a hot stove!)
Some of my best work and most significant impact in life has been in the last 10 years. I so wish I could have shared all this with him.
So tonite I will pull the bottle out of the cabinet, the one I still have from 10 years ago and pour myself a shot. Here’s to you, Dad. All my love I send to you and know that, today of all days, you’re being remembered and greatly missed.