|Kate took this picture this past August at my parents' New Hampshire house.|
Following Quaker practice, the meeting was "unscripted." We entered into silence, then people rose and spoke about Dad, as the spirit moved them.
Near the end, I rose and spoke.
After high school, I launched myself off to southern Indiana for college, and experienced culture shock in multiple dimensions.
One of those was the religious fervor of many of the people I was around. This was a change for me, sort of Quaker, sort of Jewish, coming from a high school where you knew roughly what church or synagogue people went to, but it wasn't a big deal.
One evening, I was discussing religion with a dorm-mate, who said, "You must have faith in something."
"I do. I have faith in my family, in my parents, that however things turn out, they'll mean well for me."
"You can't know that."
"You're right, but I do. That's what makes it faith."
And since then, that faith has continued to be borne out.
It makes life a lot easier to start out from that.Labor Day weekend, 2012, was the last time the whole family was together. My brother was in the end-game of leukemia and we gathered at Joe and Jan's for reminiscing. (Joe would die the next month). After I said goodbye to him, Dad drove me to the airport in Chicago.
In the car, I told Dad the story about the dorm conversation 25 years earlier. He was quiet for a time, then said it was good to know that.
It was even better to have grown up with it.