Sometimes it is difficult not to wonder what could have been if certain things happened or did not happen. Today is one of those cases. My father would have turned 72 years old today. Instead he was taken from this world at the rather early age of 59.
For some reason, Sage has taken to building as his grandfather. 'When I'm a worker, I will build you a house', Sage tells me often. I then recall the house my father built us in Oregon. The one on Cougar Lane. I remember watching as it was being built and my father telling me he probably would not build me a house because I was so picky - I told him the 2x4s of the framing were not smooth and should be sanded. I'm sure he was joking. I was only nine years old at the time.
The house was a two-story house built out of redwood and stone on the outside. It had a living room to the left as you entered the double front doors and stairs to the right leading to the four bedrooms. As you passed the living room, the hallway to the right led to the kitchen, dining room, and family room. To the left it led to my father's office where he had a desk filled with papers and architectural plans. At one point, I had my bed moved to his office so I would have my 'own' room.
One thing I remember well is him telling me when I had children he would build things with them just as he would often build things with me. Other things I recall him telling me were about my being stubborn and my not being the kind of person to be able to have an office job. Somehow he saw that at such an early age. Unfortunately, he never even got the chance to see me become a mother. He never walked me down the aisle or got to hold any of his grandchildren.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, life continues with my children. Sage has inherited his love of building, Saffron his steadfastness, and Cinnamon his kindness. His life is reflected in his grandchildren.
Building memories is what we should be doing daily as memories will be the only thing left once someone has gone. Even the simple things such as doing homework with the children or sitting down for an afternoon treat of cookies - with the children taking turns dipping their cookies into my Croatian coffee. Those are the memories they and I will cherish the most.
The future is never quite as we imagine it will be. There will be people who leave our lives, relationships which fail, and circumstances out of our control. Then there will be new people who enter our lives - ones who will change our future in ways we never imagined. As tempting as it may be to dwell on what could not be, life is too short to live in the past.