This is unprofound: one’s age is frozen in time when one dies. Dad was 26 when I was born, so he was mostly in his 30s and 40s when I was growing up, in his 50s and 60s, when I visited him when he and mom and the “baby” sister moved to Charlotte, NC from Binghamton, NY.
But he was never young, a boy or in his teens or early twenties, at least not in my self-centered reckoning. This picture I don’t remember, and I don’t know how old he was. But I think I remember the sweater. It was a forest green sweater, and it was cream-colored, rather than white. Or so I recall.
He used to paint trees, but they were almost always barren, often in wintertime.
He was a month and a half shy of 74 when he passed away on August 10, 2000, before 1 p.m. As I mentioned previously, I got to sign a document that the hospital needed in order to provide the death certificate; the joy of being the oldest, I reckon.
The events surround his death 17 years ago are still as vivid as if it had happened a few months ago. And I still have residual stuff to deal with.
A book of his poems I should do SOMETHING with, for instance. The Daughter had a poetry day at her school a few years ago; maybe I could have tried out a couple of his pieces for human consumption. The one thing he did, though, was to go wild with ellipses. Where you and I might use three dots, he might use three dozen. If I were ever to try to get them published someday, am I bound by his crazy use of punctuation?
I’m still no closer to finding his biological father than I was last year, though I haven’t given it much effort, truth be told. I fear microfilm will be in my future, probably in northern Pennsylvania.