On the 10th Anniversary of My Father's Death

10 years ago today my dad's body took its last breath, but his spirit lives on in the memories of him that I can call up in an instant. 

Memories from my childhood when he played with and cared for us kids, and memories of him growing weaker in his living room chair. And all that lies between. Good memories, bad memories. Happy memories, sad memories. Old memories, recent memories. All of them there for the conjuring into my present, bringing his spirit to life. 

So today is not a day for mourning, but a day for remembering my father. There's no need for condolences, thoughts or prayers from anyone; just rememberings. 

One year, 5 years, 10 years; none is more meaningful than the other - we just seem to like round numbers, but oh, how they fly by!

With each tick of the clock, turn of the calendar, and change of the seasons our bodies age, we move closer to the front of the queue, and then it's our turn to exit, unaccompanied, leaving our bodies to corrupt. Then as we drift and float on the other side we realize that the blessing of the dead is to be remembered by the living. 

So today, I remember my dad, and simply ask that my family and friends who knew him do the same.

The Long Boat by Stanley Kunitz

When his boat snapped loose
from its mooring, under
the screaking of the gulls,
he tried at first to wave
to his dear ones on shore,
but in the rolling fog
they had already lost their faces.
Too tired even to choose
between jumping and calling,
somehow he felt absolved and free
of his burdens, those mottoes
stamped on his name-tag:
conscience, ambition, and all
that caring.
He was content to lie down
with the family ghosts
in the slop of his cradle,
buffeted by the storm,
endlessly drifting.
Peace! Peace!
To be rocked by the Infinite!
As if it didn't matter
which way was home;
as if he didn't know
he loved the earth so much
he wanted to stay forever.


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