In Hebrew Scriptures, to live many, many years and have a multitude of descendants is to be truly blessed by God. For the past three weeks, my 86 year old dad has gotten to spend time with his three children and a biological granddaughter who carries his family name. Not many descendants, but enough. Today, my brother, his wife and daughter, my dad and I took a last ferry ride to Vaxholm on a day of crystal clear sunlight and breeze. Tomorrow, I ride the ferry alone into Stockholm and take my flight back to Fort Lauderdale early on Saturday morning. The rest of the crew will return to Stockholm by car on Saturday afternoon to spend a few more days there before my dad returns to Panamá and everyone else to the UK. Today, though, we were here. None of the fights, hurts and disappointments of the past, none of what lies ahead, mattered. We were gifted with an amazingly beautiful day.
My brothers and I went through a John Denver phase as teenagers. As I looked out over the water to the islands and sailboats and seagulls, I kept thinking of that Denver song, “Sunshine”. My dad was very sad for a time on the ferry, taking in the contours of sea and land and sunlight. A hard, hard goodbye, this one, maybe the hardest of all. I realized that though most of his ashes will swirl down the Caldera River to join my mom’s ashes when he dies, I will bring some back to put in the water here when that time comes. This is what he’s made of, this is where the dust shall return to dust. Regardless that he was sad today, regardless that death does await him and there is no denying that, my father has been blessed, deeply, widely, wonderfully blessed.