Well, here we are 10 years to the day that my dad passed away. In many ways it has been a long time 3,652 days. But in other ways it was just like yesterday.
It is erie how I remember so clearly the events of the night he died. It is also interesting how that event gets treated through time. It sorta sits there as a marker. Something that kinda shouldn't be there but is. Because it is a marker it tells us a lot about us and our response to the event. I mean there should be memory. But do we each remember the positive things about him, or do we remember the stressful things about him? The impacts of events on social memory is deep, embedded in our psyche, and reflected in the presence or absence of the objects we permit around us. I have struggled over the years with which objects to keep and which object to release (especially those objects which remind me of my dad). For me it is an even harder struggle than some: as a third culture kid the object made home what it was because we were "constantly" moving. Places and people were ever changing. But somethings were the collection of "home".
In the time that has passed I got married. I had a beautiful baby girl. These are exemplars of events and relationships post an era "with dad". Life does go on. But I struggle with how to remember my dad.
I find myself (alarmingly at age 33) not able to remember names - like one day I couldn't remember the name of my boss. It is like the proper names of general nouns are missing. It used to be just the names of people. But now it happens to things too. So, I wonder how should I best remember my dad. I have little things in my office: a photo of us white water rafting and his Gideon New Testament. I have hopes someday to write my memories of dad in a book or in a collection. (In fact I have started several times). But then I wonder how should the collection be organized. Or what point of view should the the stories take? I feel a double responsibility: one to pass on to my kids something about their grandfather, and a responsibility to share with the youngest of my sibblings about their dad. Yet my point of view is currently neither mild nor neutral. So for the time being I am quiet. I hope for the day when my sibblings and I can collectively share our memories with eachother. And I look forward to the day when my dad will be able to answer the questions I posed to him shortly after his death.