The other day I went into the "secret room" , a small attic area where we keep all the boxes we haven't unpacked since the last move. And there they were......pictures. They are the things that keep you from getting anything else done that day. Reliving each and every moment that they represent. Trying to remember what year and how old you were or someone else was. After two hours, I hear Mel yelling my name trying to find me.
I was staring at a picture of Dan. Taken in December of 1972 at our parent's house in Lindsay. It was Melodie's first Christmas and who is with her on the floor? Her Uncle Dan. His connection to her was forged over that holiday. Her new toys are bigger than her and she was to chubby to sit up completely without a little help. So there is Dan. Helping.
After moving to the Central Coast Dan use to hang out with Melodie and Jed at there loft in San Luis Obispo. It was less than a block away from his trucking yard and he would wash his clothes and take a shower there when he had a quick turn around. He loved seeing them grow and change as they got older.
The other picture I spent time with was Dan and I during a hike in Coal Canyon near Hamilton, Montana. I was trying to remember what year it was and for the life of me I can not. I remember the hike, the beauty of the trail, the rocks and the trees. I remember Dan laughing about my lack of lung capacity (he called it Central Valley asthma--which narrows the time frame to before our move to the Central Coast!) I stared at this picture and realized that it really shows our relationship. Close but independent of each other.
I always knew that if I fell Dan would break his neck to get to me, to help, to save me. And I knew that he knew that I would do the same.
That is why I was the last person he talked to. What an incredible gift. Someone in my life didn't judge me. He just loved me.
I have said it before and I will say it again. I am blessed. Sometimes you have to dig around in the past to really bring the idea home.