Unexpectedly, you lose your job. (Or a loved one. Or something or someone important to you.) What do you do next?
My grandmother was a diabetic and lost her sight due to diabetes. One of the last times that she was in the hospital, my father described an eerie encounter with my grandmother. The doctors were all in her room standing around the bed asking her questions. One doctor asked my grandmother what hurts. My father said my grandmother looked each and every person in the eyes, as though she could see, and responded, “My pakeman.” The doctors and my father were all perplexed. What is a pakeman? Most people would investigate further, not my father, he was humored by her response.
Shortly after this incident, I wanted to get a kitten. I did my usual begging and pleading, thinking that I had no chance. My father, much to my surprise, said yes, on one condition. Uh oh, I thought, scared to ask what his condition was. Turned out I could get a kitten, but he gets to name the kitten. Easy enough, prior names he had come up with were not bad.
Enter Pakeman, my kitten.
My father had a wonderful time explaining the cat’s name, and often chuckled when the cat was being called. The cat lived a good long life. My father lived a good life, just not a long life.
Years later, I tell his stories, stories about him to my children, and I smile and I am thankful for those years that I did have with him.