I have an episodic memory.
I don’t remember exactly what people say.
If it’s late enough in the day, I won’t remember names.
But I remember feelings and impressions.
I remember stories.
Today, I remember my Dad who left us 8 years ago.
I remember unconditional love.
I remember his laugh – from the belly, full, rich.
I remember that he could get wicked angry, but never raised a hand to any of his children.
I was not his by birth.
My own father could not care less about who I was or how I was growing up.
I remember one time, my Dad delivered a diatribe to my father for missing my most important years.
(I remember being on the receiving end of many of his lectures.
It’s definitively how I knew he cared.)
Dad said he was enjoying seeing me grow up and discovering who I was becoming.
He scolded my father for missing that.
I remember loyalty and being defended, especially on that day.
I remember January, 8 years ago.
I remember thinking, as I was feeding him his birthday lunch, this may be the last birthday we celebrate.
It was a quiet celebration.
The whole family was there.
Our love and admiration for this gentleman filled the space.
In March, I remember him smiling anyway, even when he could no long talk.
I remember my fear over not having said enough as I held his hand, when he would no longer wake.
Most of all, I remember how he loved me with his strong hands and the gentle touch of his words.
“I’m proud of you. I love you, daughter.”