Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Years On. Or So.

Here's a great old photo I came upon this past week whilst cleaning out an old desk at my folks' house. It is your humble correspondent and his dad, taken, I would judge, in the spring of 1957. (Clues: I was born in December 1956, I am obviously not very old in the photo, I am not particularly bundled up but Dad is wearing a long-sleeved shirt so I suspect a warm spring day and not a hot summer day.)

I love those old scallop-edged snapshots; I wonder why they did away with them. For that matter, I wonder why the scallops existed in the first place--purely decorative, or was there some other purpose?

According to the Minnehaha County Coroner, my dad died two years ago today, January 31. But it has always been a date pulled from the air. I found my dad in his bed on February 1, 2008, when he failed to turn up for our weekly luncheon. He lived alone, so who is to say whether he died before or after midnight? 

(Had the bureaucratic coin-toss landed on the other side, we would not have had to refund his February Social Security payment. Thanks a bunch, county!)

When my mom died, we knew with certainty the date, for my parents, as was their custom, had been up till the wee hours of February 7, 2003, going to bed well after midnight. No question marks there at all.

But with dad...well, there's always just that little bit of mystery. Is today the anniversary? Or tomorrow?

To be safe, I shall drink a toast to him this evening and again tomorrow.

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