Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Familiar Faces

I'd like to thank everyone for their kind words of condolence over the loss of my father last week. I got the call from my sister last Wednesday morning that Dad had pneumonia and his condition was critical. As I was preparing to take time off work and make the trip up to Michigan, he passed away around noon.

Dad had been in ill health since suffering his first stroke three years ago at age 69. Although he seemed to bounce back at first, one setback after another made it clear he could no longer live on his own. Since then my brothers and sister and I have been dealing with his care and trying to sell the house. Although the logical part of my mind knew this time was coming, I was still taken by surprise at his rapid decline and passing. I don't think anyone can say they're really prepared.

Over the past year I watched as my dad morphed into his father. If you gave me a photograph, I wouldn't be able to tell you if it was Dad or Grandpa toward the end. This week as I was reunited with my aunts and uncles, I realized Dad's sisters are starting to bear a remarkable resemblance to Grandma. And I noticed my cousins have grown into attractive young adults that are spitting images of their parents as I remember them from years ago.

I stood at a collage of photos that one of my aunts put together. My four year old nephew was holding my hand methodically pointing to each photo and asking, "Who's that?"

"That's beeba Gus," I'd tell him each time. (That's what he called his grandfather.)

As he got to a photo of Dad as a toddler, I changed my answer. "That looks like you!", I told him. "Is that you??" I teased.

"Noooo," he laughed, "that's beeba Gus!"

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