Dad and I, Kodiak, Alaska, Dawn of Time
I saw my father this morning. It's not the first time, though today was beyond a general similarity of features and into the realm of Holy Crap! It's Dad!
Waiting at an intersection for the lights to change. The folks to my right got the turn arrow, and Dad gave me a big smile as he drove past. I was stunned. This man was an exact mirage of my father, though in his healthy years, before he got sick, before his illness sucked him dry month after month; an image of my father before the weight of his fading health relentlessly pressed him down into the bent, weak shape of an old, old man.
The sound of a horn blast jarred me out of the startling moment and as I turned the corner toward the park, I could feel the tears pricking, the lump in my throat thickening. But then I flashed on that face, my Dad's smile worn by a stranger, and I couldn't stop my grin.
What an amazing thing it was, to see my father, looking so fit, so healthy. And that killer smile...no wonder he was a heartbreaker back in the day. How strange life is, with these inexplicable moments that stun, amaze, and remind us that those we love are never truly gone, not so long as we remember.
It was really good to see you again, Pops.