Some of my fondest memories growing up is going to the park together as a family. In fact, this was our typical weekend excursion. We’d walk and walk, with dad and I leaving mom in the dust, our long legs striding much faster than hers. She’d call out to us to wait for her, and we’d laugh and slow down. Sometimes.
That’s why it was difficult to see my dad in the assisted living facility, where he struggled to walk. His gait became unsteady, and he lurched along the hallways like a zombie. He also fell several times, which usually resulted in a trip to the ER and an alarming call to us in the middle of the night. On our visits, my mom and I had to be at his side to steady him as we walked slowly around the grounds of the facility.
I still love to walk. It’s my main mode of transportation and exercise. I find it also to be a great way to relieve stress. I live near a park and since my father’s death, have gone many times, walking the trails and circling the lake where dozens of ducks reside. It reminds me of my dad but in a good way.
Dad, if there are streets in the afterlife I know you are out there strolling along them in quick, confident strides.