I’ve been thinking about my Dad a lot  this week- he would have been 66 years old. It is such a small world. I am reminded of this often. Dad’s law partner had a stroke recently, and Mom and I referred the nurse, Duhart, who had taken such good care of my Dad, to his law partner’s family. Duhart is amazing- I cannot begin to describe him. He took such wonderful care of Dad when he was very sick- always dressing him in pressed slacks and shiny topsiders, wheeling him outside to breathe fresh air and preserving Dad’s dignity throughout.  {Thankfully, Mom is working on her book and is much better at painting this picture of a man, that we consider an angel, on earth.}
Last week, Dad’s law partner, and long time friend, passed away.  I saw his daughter-in-law and told her how sorry I was, and she thanked me while tearing up, telling me she can’t talk about it without getting emotional so I quickly, and jokingly, changed the subject- when she looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Duhart was with him in the end’. And just like that, that memory, of my father at the  end of his life, that was pushed into the way back creases of my brain, never to be touched again, came rushing forward and I immediately triggered a lump in my throat and tears welled up. In an instant, literally. One second I am fine, the next I am shaken and thrown off by a jarring memory.
I find it fascinating that the human brain has the capacity to put memories into categories- good, that we can tap into frequently. Bad- that we try to forget. And horrible- that we avoid at all costs, never need be accessed again, as a coping mechanism.
The good memories of my Dad, however, far outnumber that few bad ones.
Only recently, Mom told me a story of a dinner party she went to. A man, whom she didn’t recognize, walked up to her and introduced himself, telling her he had been friends with my Dad. He went on to say that when Dad died, he drove over 4 hours to the funeral. Once he arrived at the Episcopal church, there were no empty seats, and no room to stand. He said he had to get in his car, and turn around and drive the 4+ hours back home.  That sure says something about my Dad, I think.
This one has more Kuersteiner in her than anyone, with her closed-eye, all teeth smile on cue
This past Fall, we were at the dog trainer’s plantation, I was super pregnant, and there was an older gentleman sitting next to me.  We introduced ourselves. I immeditaley recognized the name- as did he. He then turned to the dog trainer and said, this is Garrett Robinson, her Dad was Boone and he was my best friend- punctuating the best. Hearing a 60-something year old man describe another man as his best friend was endearing. He went on to tell story after story, about my Dad, as if it was only yesterday, not 14 years ago,  that they were sitting in a duck blind or calling turkeys.
If we should all be so lucky to make such an impact.
Someone learned how to drink from a sippy cup today
I cannot tell a lie, that whole ‘ordeal’ was tough, is tough, and will always be tough- when reflected upon. I do not have happy dreams of a healthy, strong Dad.. yet. I know they will come.
The one and only dream I did have of him healthy- was right after Mike and I got engaged. I dreamed that Dad and I were at the beach fishing on the dock, and Mike was walking on the shore.  My Dad waved to Mike to join us on the dock.  Pretty simple, yet huge.  To me, that was my Dad’s way of telling me he ‘approved’ of my future husband. Ironically, that has been the only time I have ever had such a vivid dream, and one where he looked just as I remembered him.
God surely had a hand in that.
So one day, when my sweet children are older, and have their little blog books to reflect on, know this. Try to live your lives as to make such an impact.