My father, Robert Sydney Kahan, passed away last week. I wrote about my last visit with him in True Stories Well Told. The picture here is the two of us together on the first day of my life.
His passing was not a shock, it had been coming for years. When I first heard I was all business, and then the emotional reality swept me away on Day 2. It was like a wave that took me off my feet, but instead of dumping me on the hard ground I kind of floated around ungrounded and under water for most of the day.
And then the beautiful memories started…
My dad and I were estranged for most of my adulthood, and we had our fair share of run-in’s, so life was not peachy keen for us. However, over my 58 years there were many, many good moments and those were what came rushing in.
I remember playing all out with him as a child, following him up to his office at the University of Texas, where every object was imbued with magical power because it was his, camping in the Ozarks with our dog and loving the wilderness, fishing in Texas together where he miraculously caught 28 bluegills in a couple of hours when nobody else was pulling in a thing, driving to Nova Scotia for a 2-week road trip when I was 15 and loving our nomadic and unplanned adventures, living with him for a brief stint while in college: a heartfelt reunion for me after I had moved out of the house at 16… and so many more. Each of these moments shone in my heart with an intensity that overtook my grudges and lit up my heart.
Though our lives were made up of qualities light and dark, the love that shone through overpowering the others. The beautiful memories had captured it exquisitely.
Will you make a beautiful memory this week, one that can sustain you in the future?
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”