As I pray through family members this morning, I realize how the normal pulling away of children from parents is happening. It’s not a bad thing, it’s the way it works. Children grow with families of their own. Their families grow and grandparents become part of their legacy, their history, and their memory, even while they live.
I paused for a moment and considered my father dying alone at Woodland Park Hospital. How much did he know while he was so debilitated by his disease? I wonder if he was aware of how important he was to his children? He could not know how much of him would remain, mementos of his contribution to our lives.
I look around my office. Above the door is his name carved in wood that used to be above his office door. On the shelf a toy truck my sister picked up and left for me — Allied Van lines. She bought decals and affixed his name on the trailer: Mayhew Transfer and Storage. There is a fedora on my shelf that she picked up while on a trip to the Oregon coast. My dad used to wear a hat just like it. There is a bottle of Old spice on the shelf. A bolo with the initial ‘M’ on it that he used to wear. His name on an aluminum top-piece that used to sit on our mailbox. Elsewhere, there are old pairs of his glasses, cancelled checks that he made out with his signature on them, a high school yearbook, a ledger … The accumulation of these items was not intentional. They are just here. They are reminders of what I hope he knew, that he was loved, appreciated, and important.