It has been a little over two months since my dad passed away. The month of May was crazy and chaotic for us but we did finally add a sense of closure to my dad's passing with a Memorial Service in my mom and dad's hometown. We wanted to keep it simple as we are not ones for big elaborate services.
And up until the week of the service, we weren't sure who would speak or what they would say:
But in the end even all the big kids participated. Noah, Jonathan and Ms B each recited a coupe of verses from the Bible. The two littlest ones didn't want to. Up until I got up to the podium, I didn't know what I wanted to say. But I did bring with me this notebook I found in my parents house:
This was a binder I had in high school. I cannot remember if I stored my Spanish or AP history work in there. When I had probably chucked it out after college, my dad being the spend thrift he is, recycled it. The day before we had my dad's memorial service, I started flipping through the notebook. This was one my dad kept downstairs in the house, near where my parents received company so that my dad could show his friends what was inside:
Inside, my dad had printed out all the photos we had forwarded to him from when our son was born - his first grandbaby. My dad wasn't very technology savvy - which we often found ironic as he was an engineer. He didn't know how to download photos and save them to a card to print them elsewhere. So he did what he knew how to do. Now keep in mind, my dad was a total total spend thrift. He would never never ever print more than he needed to because the cost of ink would drive him mad. But he printed pages upon pages of photos of Noah. Every photo we sent from Noah's first weeks of life were printed and put in page protectors in that notebook.
And with the notebook in hand and then my baby girl in the other, I spoke from the heart. The words came as they needed to about my dad's love of life and how he could fill a room with laughter over his conspiracy theories. He was a jack of many trades. Even though we were poor by many standards, hand me down clothing, home hair cuts, chandeliers that only had half the lightbulbs working by choice since my dad wanted to save electricity - it didn't matter. At the end of the day, we were immersed in love.
Even when my dad mumbled when I asked him for some help one day in algebra and he was telling me the teacher was trying to teach me math in some space age way, I learned to navigate life from it (I didn't ask for math help again after that though).
And though my dad is gone, he lives on in my family and our kids. Within each of them I see a spark of my dad.
As hard as the last two months have been, we know that even this life is temporary. We look forward to the next one.
And I know my dad is sitting in Heaven smiling upon us now as we enter this new chapter in our lives.