As Niko and I begin sorting through the momentos that mark our Father's life, I can't help but look back on my own with emotions far different then those of which I find myself facing his. Just walking through the house, leaves me with a sense of his closeness, and it's easy to think he's only stepped out to go to the market, or to share a beer with old friends instead of passed on to that next life.
As I pack away his clothing, I know I have to find the way to say my good-byes, but, we know that and by releasing him, we're allowing his spirit to join those who've passed before him. I can't help but smile at the small reminders I find that he's kept of those he's already said good-bye to, things I hadn't known existed, from old photos to a pale blue infant's sock that I can't help but recognize as having once belonged to my son.
I wish I could say what seeing that sock means to me, but, I'm not sure I'll ever fully have the words to explain it. Since the moment my family was lost, all I've had of them was the small photo of Jasna and Danijela that I carry in my wallet, Marko has always been just a memory, and now, I have something of his. I'll never know why my father kept this to himself, maybe he didn't realize what it would mean to me, or perhaps he felt he needed it more, but, having it now, my father could not have left me a greater gift.