Dad’s funeral is today at noon. I spent some time yesterday pouring over old photo albums to find some pictures of him and me together.
This is probably my favorite picture of dad & me. He’s apparently coming home from a boy scout meeting. I can’t be much older than two in that picture, but I remember my sister and I would run out to greet him whenever he came home, and he would pick both of us up. It’s one of my favorite memories. Now Parker does the same thing when I come home, so now I have an idea of how my dad felt when we came running to greet him at the end of the day.
Whatever may have passed between us, I’ve never doubted my father’s love for me. He told me of it and showed it to me in countless ways through the 37 years that he was a living part of my life. And being a father myself has strengthened the knowledge of how much I was loved by my dad.
This picture reminds me of that. That’s why as soon as I learned of my dad’s passing, I wanted to have this picture.
Most likely a picture from my second birthday. I’d forgotten about this picture until I started looking through the photo albums, but I wanted it because it has my dad looking at me and smiling, which is what I want to remember most.
In the den of my parents’ house, each of us kids has a wall of pictures — graduation pictures, diplomas, etc. — and I also discovered that each of us has a photo album dedicated to our growing up and and accomplishments. (There are simlar albums in the works for the grandchildren, including Parker.) In mine I found pictures going all the way back to my pre-school days all the way through my Eagle Scout award and my my college graduation. They even had the programs of every play I appeared in during high school, and some of my early "letters to the editor" from that time. (My "pre-blogging" years, perhaps?) Finding that reminded me that my dad — both of my parents, actually — were and are proud of me and what I’ve managed to accomplish, no matter what our differences are or were.
It will probably take me a long time to process my feelings around my father’s death, but having those memories to hold on to will help. No matter what, I’ll always remember how my dad loved me and how proud he was of me. My tribute to my dad will be to make sure my son grows up knowing how much I love him and how proud I am of him.
Thanks, Dad. Know that I’ve always loved you, and that I always will.