April 07, 2011

Accidental remembering

As I walked out of the treatment center today after getting my Xgeva, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, an older man in a chemo chair. He looked so much like my dad z"l at around age 65 that I actually did a double take. Sure enough, same style eyeglasses, same shape face, same receding hairline. This man was covered up to his chin with a blanket, so I can't guess on other resemblances.

I felt I could hardly stop and interrupt him to say, "Wow, you remind me of my father." But I mentioned the incident at my support group later that afternoon  and was surprised that I teared up.

My dad's been gone for a few years and most of my grief has come and gone. Still, unexpectedly seeing what might have been his face triggered more sorrow than I expected.

May your memory be for a blessing to all who knew you, Daddy.


  1. My own father was a pretty violent character and he did not like me much.

    He died and he did tell everyone else that he loved them. To me, he said, 'I was always on your side.' It never seemed that he was. It always seemed like no matter what I thought, or what I did, he was angry and thought I should have thought the other way, or done another thing. It bothered me for a long time that even when he was dying, he could not tell me that he loved me, but finally decided that he only had breath to say the most important thing. Perhaps with that breath, the most important thing he could say was not 'I love you', but in an attempt to sweep away the bitterness of many years, he wanted me to know that, inside, he had been on my side. Maybe that was what he felt was most important that I hear.

    Several years later, I was working at my mosquito surveillance job. There was an elderly man who reminded me so of my father in look. To my shock, when he spoke, it was in the same deep rumble as my father. This man was gentle and kind. After a couple seasons, he greeted me with, "Hi, darlin'!"

    I had never told him that he reminded me of my father, and to hear that endearment coming from a man that so resembled my father caused me to hesitate, and then to stop, with great tears in my eyes. My father had never greeted me thus. I never realized how badly I wanted to hear words like that from him.

    Your father's memory is a blessing to you, and Jill...you were well and truly blessed.

  2. Anonymous9:50 AM

    My father died on Rosh Hashanah in October 2007 at age 97. I still tear up. And still have a good laugh at some of the things we did as kids. And still find value in his "it all depends on how you look at things." And - "I will always be watching over you." His memory is indeed a blessing.
    - Betty Johanna