Finding 20 Year’s Worth of Father’s Day Card’s In Dad’s Office and What it All Means in the End

I continued cleaning out my dead father’s office today.

As the piles of documents to be burned tomorrow stacked up, I considered the summation of some aspects of our lives; reduced to sheaves of paper, bank statements, and receipts. But in between the daily mail collection were treasures.

·         His diploma from high school in London, before coming to the US for college at Georgia Tech.

·         His military records from being an air defense artillery instructor in El Paso, Texas.

·         His selection and personnel records from the FBI. Curiously (or maybe not) the section about a certain incident in central Texas was removed.

·         Printed emails between his father and his brother on genealogy questions and fishing updates.

·         Every user manual for every electronic device we ever owned. Engineers, man…

·         A picture of the tumor that would change the arc of his life, but not in the way you’d expect.

·         Every birthday and Father’s Day card he received for the last 20 years of his life. (I’m not crying, you’re crying).

I drove to dinner this evening through the giant, mossy oaks that line the coast of the bay where I grew up. Memories of my childhood flooded over me as I drove roads I’d been on thousands of times in my youth, but barely at all since. Those roads still show up often in my dreams.

Over a fantastic BBQ dinner, my mother and I told funny stories and argued over politics.  

I guess the old adage is true: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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