I spent the afternoon with family and looking through old photos of my dad. Laughing at some and contemplating others. Strange how we forget how young our own parents were once while raising us. I had forgotten what slender man my dad was for most of his life. I forgot what he had looked like at different ages and stages. It is strange to see it and feel like an outsider looking at a photo even the ones with yourself in it. I forgot all of my stages too.
The man became a huge fan of blue jean overalls for a big chunk of his later year. It started younger than I had remembered, today I uncovered pictures that had to be the beginning of that trend. I remember now how sickly he was at times throughout our lives. Many times cheating death just narrowly. I guess some part of you starts to believe they will keep doing it, but truthfully we all have our time. Mom told a few stories I had never heard of when they were first together. I have heard the story of how it all began many times but mostly from her perspective, it is pretty entertaining.
Those two had to be destined to be together, the love they had caught fire and took off fast. They dated just a few months really before getting married and they stayed married. I am definitely not saying it was smooth sailing and there wasn’t a lot of work involved in maintaining their relationship. Destiny or not you need to work for it. I got to see a picture from when he had worked in Las Vegas riding a roller coaster. He was all in, hands in the air and a huge smile on his face.
It is crazy how the memories we hold onto are so seemingly random, obviously, there are the ones that were funny or intense somehow. I am talking about all of the others you just seem to hold on to and all of the ones that you don’t recall in the least. That is the great thing about pictures, the way they bring things back and refresh images in your mind. I recall thinking my parents were so old and looking back at the time and seeing them very young and healthy and less than 40 and realizing shoot I am the same age as them, how funny. A friend of mine’s son recently asked her if she was ready to move out yet, to which she asked where. His response was the nursing home, she is only 40. Funny how age perspective is for children.
I sure do miss the man. When I see his favorite chair I still see the image of him sitting there, legs curled over to the side. I still hear his laughter. I see him in my son, the way he tells jokes and laughs. His playfulness and the way he makes friends. I see him in me now, in ways that I never did before. Not just in my reflection, but small mannerisms and inherited behaviors. My insatiable wanderlust, adventure, spontaneity. I see his face in my own staring back in the mirror. The more time passes, the more it seems to stand still in the memory of his passing. I don’t know if the time comes where it feels real, I do know the time will never come when it ever feels right.