It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years since we lost my Dad. The years since that sad morning have been filled with a lifetime of “would-haves,” as I call them … Dad would have loved this or would have enjoyed that. We have a list a mile long by now! We still miss him, and this time of year is always bittersweet for the family.
He was an extraordinary man. His view of the world was formed by his first hour in combat in World War II, when he somehow cheated death. “If we only have assurance of life day-to-day, we should also have daily incentive to live well and appreciate deeply.” Out of the cauldron of war, his simple credo was:
Try for a little honesty, a little courage, and a little love.
He believed in the power of love and compassion. “I believe that the hope of the world rests in healthy individuals in supportive environments.” And he reminded us often that “The differences which divide mankind are inevitable and are relatively superficial compared to our similarites…”
It was very difficult to say goodbye to this courageous, gentle man fifteen years ago, and that empty space was and still is huge. But I keep in my mind the image of him wearing that hat, leading our family along the paths of Yellowstone… and along the paths of life with humor, pathos, and keen intelligence.