When I think of Dad, I think of quiet mornings and the smells of coffee and newspaper. I think of his morning glass of milk and his plush terry-cloth robe. I think of the way he sometimes had black smudges on his nose as the newsprint ink grabbed at his fingertips and settled upon the soft things he touched. I think of other things, too, but these are the things I think of first.
I’m trying to write Dad’s obituary today. I know that this particular piece of writing is not for me or for the people who know me. It’s for them—all the people who cared about Dad. I want them to feel included, but I don’t know how to start. How far back do I go? What do I concentrate on? When will I stop waking up, convinced he’s still here?
And so I close my eyes and breathe.
And then I begin.