THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012, 7:29 P.M.

The heart remembers

hands in the same of a heart (Vladislav Mitic)
hands in the same of a heart (Vladislav Mitic)

The sadness crept in early this morning and made its home inside me. I could not understand it.

Then I glanced at the calendar – oh, yeah. June 14th.

My dad died on this day seven years ago. And my sisters and I spent the next week preparing our ritual of good-bye.

I had seen him only three weeks earlier. His cancer had returned and he detested dialysis and all its side-effects. Still, we managed to have a nice week together – out on a boat, some favorite restaurants for lunch and short drives in the fresh Florida air.

I was remembering that week today, but mostly I was recalling all the years of his presence – always there when I needed him.

One story: when a high school love broke my heart – moments after I left for college - my dad sent me a card and said that the boy would be sorry one day – one day when I was off on new adventures, when someone better would love me. Years later, my attorney dad represented a client who was suing my erstwhile love.  When the two had a chance to talk, my dad said, “Well, you broke my daughter’s heart. So, I guess now you will have to pay a price.”  Of course, he didn’t actually take revenge via the legal action, but that he would enjoy the opportunity to plant the suggestion into a conversation, was lovely.

A good father is always a daughter’s cheerleader and advocate – in the practical details of life as well as affairs of the heart. And today my heart remembers my dad and his legacy of love, humor, wisdom.

(S-R archives photo)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.