Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Dozen Years, A Lifetime of Memories

Twelve years ago today I lost my father.

For the longest time, losing my father had been my greatest fear. The first full length novel I wrote (still unpublished) was an attempt to come to terms with facing that fear. And a relatively recent novel that I wrote explored my desire to explore "what if he hadn't died." I doubt I'll ever stop including this element in some way in my writing.

Yesterday, when I was talking with my son about the grandfather that he never had the chance to meet, he asked about the surgery and if I ever wished I could find a time machine so I could go back and change what happened on that day. One of the things I love most about hanging out with my ten year old is that our minds are so alike; we can get into a grove and the decades of age difference between us dissolve. 

It's always an interesting premise, wanting to go back and change things that didn't go right.

But there are a few things that went right that fateful morning. Such as giving my father a hug and a kiss and telling him that I loved him before he headed off into surgery.

Dad and I in Levack, sharing a beer and some laughs back in the 90's
Taking the time to tell those that you love, those who are important to you, is always the right thing to do; even when it's awkward. But the great thing about love is that you can give and share love without ever once feeling depleted of it. It's an amazing internal natural resource.

Tonight, when I'm sitting back and having a beer, I'll be toasting the memory of my father; I'll be toasting all the fun times that we shared, all those moments together, and the life that he lived; celebrating a man I continue to try to emulate. But I'll also be celebrating the incredible gift that I have in being a father to such a truly wonderful son as I continue to marvel at all he is and continues to grow to become.

Alexander and a game of chess we played last night (while philosophizing) at The Winking Judge

Tonight, I'll be toasting to memories, and to futures; and reflecting on just how blessed I am that I get to live between the two extraordinary lives of my father and my son. The influence of both of them make me into a better person.