A few months ago, my dad, who was 91 years old, passed before my eyes. It is hard to imagine that he was there for my first breath, and I was there with him for his last. It turned out, however, that the best way for me to cope was to listen to my young daughter. Recently she learned a song called, "There's a Little Wheel Turning in My Heart," and asked me, "What's in your heart today?" She suggested I say Pop-Pop. "And what is he doing in your heart?" I had to think for a moment. My dad used to sing the ABCs to her in his own unique way to make her laugh, so I said, "Pop-Pop is singing the ABCs." Next she said, "Now ask me." When I did, she replied: "Pop-Pop." "And what is he doing in your heart?" "He is doing drawings with me," she answered. This very simple song brought it together for me.
My dad is in my heart in so many different ways. I admire his amazing mind and his strength. He was a WWII veteran, and his generation was tough.
I am thankful for the sharpness of his mind and his loving manner that he still had at the age of 91. His body just couldn't go any longer. My dad's legacy and gift to our family was each other. Now my sister, my mom and I must immerse ourselves in our memories. If we all could embody more of Dad's qualities, life indeed will be sweeter.
With all this being said, the one thing that will help me cope is remembering he is in my heart.