December the fifth

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

~George Eliot

So I am a bit behind, but I really wanted to write this, so here we are.

December 5th, is an important day for a few reasons, but this one is especially close to home.  It is my step-dad Warner’s birthday. He passed away after a long battle with alzheimer’s 10 years ago.  I miss him now the same as I missed him that terrible day, but I chose not to think about that too often, I remember the good times that came before his illness.

It is often said, what is remembered lives.  So I remember…

When I would give him a gift that he really liked he was say “oh man!”.  That’s how I knew he really liked it.

When he moved to Texas for work when I was in high school, we would email back and forth all the time.  I cherished those emails, especially because he was a man of few words, and those words were just for me.

When is used to drink Grand Marnier that came in those purple bags.  They were the same color as his fraternity colors so he kept them. I still have a few.  

When I was sick and home from school, he would sit with me, him in his chair, me on the couch, with my pillows and blankets and we would watch old war movies.

When, on my first communion, he dressed up in a suit just to take a photo with me because I was all dressed up.

When I brought home a signed pictures from the Olivia Newton-John concert.  His face was priceless. Thanks to my best friend Emmie, we shared a love of her.  

When I got married and we danced to “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.  He wore his blue suit, the one that he is buried in. He collected me at the table for our dance, then walked me back afterward, a true gentleman.  I have a picture of this dance on my wall. I have been divorced for years, but it is one of my favorite memories of him.

Everytime, I hear that song I know he is with me.  Often it is when I am at a low point and I need support.  I will never forget the first time, after his burial, my family whet back to my mom’s house.  It was American Idol night and that was a pretty big deal for us back then. We put on the TV, turned to the show, and BAM.  They were singing “What a Wonderful World”. We cried, but it was a good cry. He was saying that he was there, and he still is.

Happy Birthday, Warner! If what is remember lives, you will live forever.

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