Dads

A friend of mine recently lost his father. My friend is in his mid-50s and his dad was in his 80s - a good, long life. Their last visit, hours before he passed away, was a good one, punctuated by a moment of humor. Losing a parent is about as common an experience as we have on this planet, so my friend's loss caused me to reflect on my own father's passing nearly 18 years ago. Actually, that's not entirely accurate; it caused me to think about what has happened since then. Lots of water under the bridge, as they say, but the most remarkable thing is that I think about my father every day, and have since the day he died. It's not the sort of thing that I do deliberately or ritually; it just happens. Someone will say or do something and it will remind me of him. Sometimes it's in a goofy sort of way, something happens to remind me of something ridiculous he liked to do. Sometimes I'm reminded of his flaws with a hint of regret. Sometimes I'm reminded of the flaws in our relationship. But more often than not I'm reminded of how he tried to be a father, how he never stopped being a father even as that role evolved into something more comfortable than confrontational. And I am always grateful for whatever recollection happens to slip in for the day. It's like he never left.