The other day I was cleaning out boxes, drawers, and other containers of acculmulated trinkets and what-not when I came across a key chain that belonged to my Dad. When he turned 60 we threw a surprise party for him, and one of the guests gave him this little keychain, engraved with his name and the occassion.
Dad immediately put his car key and house key on it, and used it everyday, until the day he died 9 1/2 years later. At that time Mom gave me Dad's vehicle, and the keys for it, which were on the keychain, along with his key to their house. So when I found the keychain, it still had a copy of Mom's housekey on it, even though the car key was long gone like the car.
I have my own key to Mom's house, so I thought I'd give that key to my son, and figured I'd just let him have the whole keychain, knowing that he'd treasure it - his grandfather was perhaps one of the greatest loves of my son's life.
As I thought about this, and held that keychain in my hand, I could "feel" my Dad. He had touched that keychain so often, and kept it in his pocket when not in use. It was worn smooth, and held his aura.
When the time came to let my son have the keychain, I could barely stop myself from crying. Never did I dream this would affect me so strongly, or that I would want so badly to hold onto this little piece of my Dad.
Tonight, as I drove my son to his own father's house for the weekend, I told him to be sure to take his house key since W/we wouldn't be home on Sunday. And I watched him put my Dad's keychain, now containing the key to this house along with Dad's key to his and Mom's house, into his pocket, and I choked up all over again.
There must be some pretty powerful ju-ju or something in that keychain. I'm convinced it's because he held it so tightly and so often and so close to himself everyday for almost a decade. I don't really want the keychain back, I really do want my son to have it, I just want my Dad back.
But everyone who ever knew him feels the same way, for there was no greater man of honor and caring and compassion than my Dad.
Next Wednesday marks the day my Dad entered the hospital for the last time, and a week from tomorrow (Saturday the 22nd) marks the day he left this earth - back in 1999. And yet I can still hear his voice, the way he cleared his throat, I can still smell his skin, his scent, and feel his presence. Truly I was the luckiest little girl on this earth to have had a Father this wonderful.
Thank you Daddy, I miss you, and I love you.