My Dad died on May 1st.
I made, as they say, “final arrangements” for him on May 3rd. And walked out of the funeral home with a veteran’s flag and his wedding ring.
It didn’t feel like a fair exchange. Not fair at all.
My Dad was a good man and there is much I’d like to say about him. I just haven’t been able to put the right words together yet.
But I do have words on putting the right people together.
A couple of days ago Mom brought me an old camera case of Dad’s. Inside was a New Testament which had been hers as a girl. Two addresses were listed on the inside cover, one was a house on Holly Park Circle in San Francisco. The other was a house on Montana Street. Both, she surmised, didn’t exist anymore.
She loved the house on Montana Street. It was brand new. Her father’s employer had built it for them, considering the rent part of my grandfather’s pay. But they only lived there one year. In 1941, Papa moved them all to Seattle. He wanted to help the war effort so went to work at Boeing Field.
Just for fun I did a little research. The little house on Holly Park Circle, all 844 square feet of it, is valued approximately $1.1 million! (but, you know, that’s in San Francisco…so there’s that). And the Montana Street house is also alive and well, coming in approximately $800,000. Mom was shocked.
But the thing that stood out for me was the timing. The house information states it was built in 1940, just as she said. They lived in it one year. Moved to Seattle. She enrolled in high school. Where she met Robert Jamison. Who went to war. Made it home. Then began a new story with Opal.
Maybe I’m weird, but I’m always amazed to think of the places I’ve lived, the people I’ve known, the course changing decisions I’ve made… and how easily an outcome can be/has been re-directed.
So all I can say is, I’m thankful that my grandpa got a patriotic burr under his saddle and moved his family to Seattle at the right time.
I’m thankful that Robert and Opal got together. I’m thankful for my life.
I’m thankful for these fun little bits of memory and history which soothe and heal.
And I’m thankful Dad’s suffering is done.