One year ago today, I was sitting in the Manchester NH airport, waiting for a plane to deliver T from Colorado so that we (meaning, he and the dog) could pack my life into a relatively small steel box and move it out west.
Ironically, we’ll be celebrating this one year anniversery of our road trip by taking another road trip. Although just as life changing, the circumstances of this road trip are not happy, joyful, or hopeful, like the last one was. This time, we are driving to Illinois to attend funeral services for T’s father, who passed away earlier this week after a long, brave, trying battle with cancer.
I only knew Bob for a short time, saw him in just a handful of visits. T has told me lots of stories. I will remember Bob as a loving father and grandfather and a dedicated husband. I will remember his halting, deep laugh, his bright eyes and winking smile. I will still have T’s impressions–Bob as a father who would award a quarter to the kid who could “name that tune”, beat out an off-rhythm on the kitchen counter tops, or refer to the nearby grocery store as King Sooper, always dropping the “s” on the end. I see a lot of Bob in his youngest son, and I know that his memory lives on in the people he left behind and that for that, he will never be far away.
Our car is packed. Fischer is at Happy Hounds Doggy Day Care. I have a plane ticket home for Monday. In the morning, I’ll watch Point B fade in the rear view mirror, headed for a weekend of remembering. As the year-ticker turns over, I feel as though I am standing at the crossroads of time. I am looking to the future, to the next year of my life’s journey, but simultaneously, I am looking back, not just on the life of a great man, but also on where I’ve been and what I’ve learned since Point A disappeared behind a bend in the road, 365 days ago.