Yesterday was one of bittersweet exhaustion. I spent the day with my Dad, helping him sort through his work memorabilia in an effort to compile scrapbooks for each grandchild. My Dad has dedicated his life to his career and has helped millions through his efforts. In the midst of dealing with his diagnosis, he is feeling driven to leave a legacy so that the grandkids know that he was more than a man who provided adventures and lollipops.
Watching him sort through his boxes was difficult, but I knew that it was also cathartic for him. There is a peace that comes from reflection, and yesterday I watched that peace envelop my Dad. He reminisced with pride about his various accomplishments while we sorted through the treasures to select items for the scrapbooks.
After the piles were compiled, I headed to Kinkos to make copies. Two hours later I left the copy center with arms full of my father's accomplishments. It felt strange copying, categorizing and sorting all of his milestones.
After the paper portion of the scrapbooks was complete, we moved onto a special project. We created a video for each grandchild, documenting his love for them as well as discussing the special memories they have shared. He spoke from the heart to each grandchild, telling them of his hopes and dreams for each one. The videos were heartfelt and personal. I was honored to be trusted to record these messages, but hearing him speak to his grandchildren, knowing that he won't physically be there, broke my heart. They are incredibly lucky that he loves them so deeply to take this time to create a legacy for each one. I have no doubt that the scrapbooks, and especially the videos, will be treasured when they are presented at each child's high school graduation.
Today I head back home. I'm leaving torn because I want to stay with my Dad and spend as much time with him as possible. On the other hand I know that my sister is coming down and she deserves the same quiet moments that I have enjoyed. It will be hard driving away this morning, but I am leaving with the promise that I will be back soon. I have to believe that I'll be able to see him, talk to him and hug him again or I don't think I'd be able to get on that plane. So, I will keep on believing and hoping.