|Dad, second from left, Spokane WA, ca. 1953-6|
As the 25th anniversary of Dad's passing was coming up, I was thinking of how to best mark the anniversary. While it sometimes feels like his passing was a lifetime ago, at other times, it feels like yesterday.
I can still remember that cold, silent and clear, 3 April 1992 evening when we left the hospital after he passed. We were exhausted and numb, headed home to start making the dreaded phone calls to family and friends. I still feel it in my body each year - an inexplicable sense of tiredness late March and early April - perhaps deep seated memories of two emotional weeks in the hospital with him before he slipped away.
Yet, in the time since his passing, there's been three grandchildren, new partners, homes, jobs, and challenges. In fact, it's been a generation since he passed. His grandchildren have only been able to know him through our stories, memories and photographs (and the odd-lopsided boot rack or bookshelf with L brackets in my mother's home. He fancied himself a master carpenter, but history has proven otherwise). I know that he's with us at every turn and for each new chapter of our lives, but it doesn't stop us missing him.
As this anniversary approached, Gonzaga University, his alma mater, progressed through the NCAA March Madness tournament and will play tonight in the Final Four Championship game against North Carolina. Dad won a sports scholarship to Gonzaga in 1952 and played basketball and baseball while earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. While we cheer on the team, we can't help but think of him. He loved his time at Gonzaga and being part of those teams. Win or lose, this game is special in so many ways.
As Dad would say (and want us to say), Go Zags!