Carman's been wanting me to watch the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" for a long time now. Finally last night I acquiesced. A bitterly cold and snowy Friday night is a perfect time to watch a film while having dinner together.
Just moments into the movie a song started playing and I caught my breath. It was "Big Rock Candy Mountain", an old American folk song, and the one song that I can remember my father singing to us when we were little. I was always delighted by the nonsensical lyrics. "...where the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay hard-boiled eggs..."
Like music can, hearing that song immediately transported me back in time. I could hear my dad's low baritone voice, see the smile on his face, smell the Camel straights and wool scent of him. Many memories of him are gone now. Once I memorized the fact that he had a tiny mole on the little toe of his left foot. I didn't want to forget his foot, just as I didn't want to forget any detail about him. But when you lose someone young and the years go by, those memories eventually fade. I only knew my dad for 17 years and I'm now in my 50s. Too much of him fades sometimes. Sometimes he seems almost a stranger.
But then comes a blessed reminder, a holy favor. I think my heavenly dad provided that small gift from my earthly dad so I could be flooded again with memories, be filled with the immense love I had for the man who left my life too soon. Perfectly timed, my holy favor, to come last night on the eve of the 35th anniversary of my dad's death.
Love endures forever.