Sunday, June 12, 2011
The Summer in Pictures: Day 12
That is the only thing I have left that has my Dad's handwriting on it.
It's a luggage tag. Once upon a time it hung on the strap of his black leather Amoco bag that he used for traveling. I'm not even completely sure how I got a hold of it - I think that Skippy and I borrowed the bag for our honeymoon and that somehow the tag came off and it ended up in my jewelry box. I probably intended to give him the bag (and presumebly the tag) back some day. And then he got sick. And then he died and it stayed in my jewelry box. When we moved, I rediscovered it, tucked into a corner under some old birthday cards and other trinkets that have no real place in my house but that I can't bear to throw away.
And I cried. Over a freakin' luggage tag.
Once upon a time, it probably took him a whole thirty seconds to fill out. It was completely insignificant. Just one more thing to do before heading to the airport. But now it has become so much more than just a luggage tag - it has become one of my most treasured possessions. It's something that I will keep even when the leather is cracked and the stitching has started to deteriorate and the paper inside is yellow. I will keep it even when I have to strain to see the writing that I know so well, his characteristic block letters, all in caps, that told people who he was. When my Mom no longer lives at the address listed on the tab (blurred because she still lives there), I will run my fingers over the writing and remember the years we all lived in that house. I will look at his old characteristic block letters and smile.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you.