My father was a numbers man. He could calculate and crunch digits in his head faster and with more accuracy than anyone I have ever known. This was a gift, a true talent he possessed – and one that he unfortunately did not pass down to me.
It always amazed me to watch him in action – he could figure P/E ratios, amortization schedules, compounding interest, percentages, all in a matter of seconds and do it with an ease that made it look like first grade math.
So today, in his honor, I calculated time. Time that has passed since May 31, 2006.
1,096 days = 26,304 hours = 1,578,240 minutes.
These numbers signify the time that I’ve spent missing him, remembering him, and being grateful for the time that I was able to share life’s most precious moments with him. And while he’d be so proud that his mathematically-challenged daughter managed to crunch some numbers of her own today, it wouldn’t measure close to how proud I am to have been his daughter.
And today, on this 1,096th day, my family remembered my dad in a different, more hopeful way. We were reminded that life goes on as the echo of my father could be heard in the sweet laughter of the granddaughter he would have loved so much. The toothy smile that lit up her precious, little face also lit up my heart. And since my father now lives on in my heart, I know that for a moment today he could feel the same warmth from that beautiful baby girl.
I could not have asked for a greater blessing on a day like this than to spend a couple of hours with the ones I love the most. I was able to see firsthand how a new generation can carry all the hope and love of a family into the future, despite the obstacles, difficulties, and differences we all may have. And for a brief time today we set our differences and past grievances aside and joined together to celebrate the memory of one and the youthful wonder of another.
I pray that as the minutes, hours and days continue to tick away, that we never forget my father and his contribution to our family. That we understand that were it not for him there is a good chance we would all be in vastly different places. I will always be thankful that God chose him to be my father – I could have had no better.
But I also pray for my family. I pray that we realize just how quickly the days pass, that time is so very precious. I pray that we come to understand how important it is to forgive and let go of frustration and bitterness so that we can move forward and try to rebuild some of what we’ve lost. And hopefully, in turn, we can create a better future for this bright-eyed, innocent child so that she will not have to carry the burdens of our mistakes.
If we can do this, if we can make our family whole again, then I cannot think of any better way to honor my father’s memory.