My dad passed away early Saturday morning, April 28, 2012. For several years, he battled Alzheimer’s disease while physically remaining relatively healthy. But even though it made for a long good-bye, we’re grateful to have had that opportunity. My grief sneaks up on me and I haven’t fully given it to it yet. Most of the time, it’s a heaviness. But as I go through some of his things that I’ve had for years, I uncover little mysteries. He didn’t really keep anything from us — he was just incredibly quiet. When he retired from the military in his early 40’s, he went back to school. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Trade and Industrial Education when he was 52 years old. I came across his transcript last night while looking for something else and it told a story of a lot of dedication. Sure, I knew he was taking college classes all that time — even while he was teaching. He went in the evenings, on the weekends — and full time during the summer. But I didn’t realize what a long commitment it was. Yet he did it. He finished. And I think he would have gotten a chuckle out of my having waited almost as long as he did to go back to school.
One of the last things I remember him saying to me . . . when I was knitting these socks, “Is there anything you can’t do?” If I had known what I know now, I would have told him that I get that from him.
I miss my dad.