“I cut down on my drinking (hah, from a lot down to pretty much!)”
– Note from my dad’s unfinished memoir
We’re taking my dad to Arizona tomorrow. Well, tomorrow Justin and I are driving to Texas. Then Friday, lunch in Roswell (wooo!) and giving my niece a big hug in New Mexico. Saturday: Arizona. Sunday we fly out of El Paso, which is 10 feet away from Juarez, so in case we get shot by a drug cartel it was nice knowing you.
My brother and I decided that rather than Tucson, where he was going to move, we’d rather take him to Tombstone. He wouldn’t want to be in Tucson without my mom*, and since this is more symbolic than anything, we thought he would love Tombstone.
He was really close to this lady at our church named Joanie. She would take him out for coffee at Daily Bread almost weekly (he would always get a big blueberry muffin). For someone who couldn’t drive, friendships like that meant a lot to him, and to us.
When I greeted Joanie at his memorial, she blurted out, “I miss him!” with such sincerity. It was one of the most genuine things that happened that day, and for that I will love her forever.
Today I learned that Joanie’s son works at my company. Not only that, but out of the thousands of places he could work on our campus, he’s in my department, in my building, right downstairs from me. I went and said hi to him; he looks just like her. I’ll bet my dad gets a kick out of this.
My dad was writing a book about his life story, covering everything from growing up in an alcoholic family to losing 80% of his vision and coping through his faith. I found it on his computer.
I’ve skimmed it a bit to make sure I have the best draft, but I’m going to read it in its entirety for the first time on this trip. This way, my final road trip with my dad will be the one where I learn the most about him.
I don’t think I’m ready for this, but I feel like he is. So, off we go.
*I’m the type of person who still thinks stuffed animals have feelings, so you can only imagine how much I’ve anthropomorphized these cremains.
EDITED TO ADD: Not in a creepy serial killer way; I don’t talk to them or sit them in a chair at the dinner table or anything.