Monday, May 7, 2012

Charles Benjamin Reinhardt, Jr. - I do remember

White for Dad, Red for Mom, Purple for Dawn, Pink for Val,
and Yellow for all of the Family
On, May 5, 1984, my father died.  Early on your memories are fresh and you have to continue with life.  Over more recent years I have struggled to think back to the time where we were a happy growing family.  I try and do things to remember and think about my father.  I have worked on the rose garden where I pray and think about life and do this in memory of my father.  Shortly before his death my father tore out the roses and a few years later the rose returned.  In many ways I have gotten lost in this garden.  Each year on May 5, I try and buy a small extra garden accessory and I visit my father's grave site.  My dad liked the White roses in the corner of the yard.  They are the only ones that remained untouched through the years.  I place a flower arrangement  of white
Dad's White Roses
Bird Bath added 2012
roses in the center and other colors surrounding  them to represent our family.  I use fake flowers because I want them to stay for awhile.  What happened was I struggled to remember and feel the 9 years that I spent with my father.  I found my self wondering what would life be like if dad were alive?  Where would we all be today?  What things and changes would dad like today?  Writing lists and lists of what I can remember my father liking and disliking.  Concentrating and trying to hear his voice.  I would look and find what happened on May 5, 1984 while my father died?  Always, thinking and hearing how do you even know and remember your father, you were so young.  What happened this weekend has made me stop my struggles and brought back all of my memory of my time with my dad.  My father loved to take pictures and he had hundreds and maybe over 1000 picture slides.  This weekend I pulled out the slides and watched them with my mother, sister, and her family.  I had looked many times before, but it had never been so long and never have I viewed so many at one time.  We also had a converted box of super 8 on DVD.  We watched parts of my fathers life from 1968 - 1983.  I even was able to see early pictures.  I believe for the first time I stopped thinking what if he had lived.  He had lived.  I no longer feel sad or think about all he had missed.  What I think about is how wonderful and great a life my father had with us all.  All of the trips to the Eastern Shore, to Ocean City, birthday parties, Easter, Christmas, playing in the yard, working around the house, New Year's parties, first communions, weddings, family trips, ballet recitals, Halloween, and much much more!  I see my father living life and doing all the same things that our family and everyone does today.  I no longer have to struggle, I can see dad and me and remember.   My father left us a wonderful gift with all of these pictures.  I can never forget.   All the time I feel and hear his voice.  I know that my father loved and lived his life, and what he loved most was his family.