I’ve spent a considerable amount of my conscious thought time this past week contemplating the portion of my dad’s life I was fortunate enough to be apart of.
Suffice it to say, my mind was fairly busy. He gave me my first golf lesson. He showed up at a number of my games and concerts. He was the one that got me into auto racing. He attempted to get me into fishing. He taught me the benefits of peacefulness and compassion. He subdued his own fears long enough to let me learn to drive using the family car.
The memory that made its way to the surface more prominently than all the others was the one of how he enjoyed pausing from his busy day to write down whatever was on his mind. Some of his seemingly random thoughts became poetry. Some of them became prose. We took turns telling each other about what we were currently writing, and I often passed on my turn because I wanted to hear more about his works. I mentioned to him more than once that some of his writings were publishable, but it was never about the money for him…he did it for the love of expressing himself.
I joined family and friends this past Thursday in saying our final farewells to my dad. I heard the minister’s urging for all of us to hold onto the precious memories. I recalled a passage from a sympathy card my office mates gave me that praised ‘warm remembering.’ Sitting there, my mind leaned towards the writing portion of my dad’s life, and it was at that moment a warm and precious realization made itself known to me: of all the aspects of my personality and of the way I live my life that I could trace back to my dad, it was his love of expressing himself via the written word that I treasured—that I emulated!—the most. Yes, my love for the craft has made me money, but I’ve noticed that the works I’m most proud of are the ones I wrote because I was compelled to express myself. Just like it was for my dad. Even with my imagination, I cannot think of a better memory to carry with me.