Monday, November 23, 2015

Postcard from the Past

I wrote this a very long time ago, so the numbers are off (I mention that for all the math majors following along at home), but not the sentiments. 

Somewhere this week, I lost track of almost all the days in it. I've had this happen before and have put it down to 'getting old' but that doesn't actually make sense since I've lived through all the days, I just didn't seem to get any of 'em on me. 


My wife and I have two children who are, in every sense of the word, adults themselves, though I have a vision problem that precludes my successfully seeing them with my heart as anything other than as they once were.

I have memories of my son, Patrick being no more than two or so when I'd pick him up to put him in his backseat car seat while cheering 'nur Patrick!' to which he shouted in return, 'nur Daddy!' It was always a pep club rally in the garage behind Ahornstrasse 67, Offenbach am Main. Zwei Deppen aber glucklich.

Michelle, our daughter, a few years younger than her brother, would balance herself in the crook of my right arm as I held her up so she could see herself as a tiny toddler in our bathroom mirror as we (her brother and me) serenaded her with 'How Much is that Baby in the Mirror' to the tune of some other song whose name I've forgotten, as she peered solemnly into the mirror and then slowly smiled when she realized the baby she was seeing was herself. I smiled because the song was one of the ways I obliquely introduced English as a language into my children's life. 

And now, part and parcel of all the days I don't recall, our family which went from two to three to four and then down to three and back to two again will be whole if not forever then for a meal this Thursday and a moment (as guests of my son's Somebody Special parents).

Some of us will enjoy stovetop stuffing while at least one of us (hint: me) absolutely loathes the stuff while only two of us will eat sweet potatoes, assuming we even have them this year, and one of us won't have any jellied cranberry sauce. 

My wife, whose country and culture have no formal Thanksgiving holiday is the architect for every reason I have to be thankful for everyday, even the days that have rushed by, unheeding and unmindful. The moments that I thought I'd remember have so often, too often, been joined by all of those now lost to me forever. 

And though I've always tried to move as quickly through life as it has through me, I've not been as successful as I could and should have been. And yet, somehow, the days I'll remember all my life are those of miracles and wonder and all of those seem to involve, and revolve around, those I love.
-bill kenny

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