It was the last night of our family vacation in the mountains, and we decided to eat outdoors next to the bay. My ten-year-old grandson said grace. He thanked God for the food and the trip, but the part of his giving thanks that pierced my heart the most was his asking God to not let us forget this time we spent together.
My father had dementia before he died, and it broke my heart that he didn’t know who I was. The last time I saw him, he called me by my youngest sister’s nickname, and my mother, who sat beside him quietly, provided him with my name.
Looking into my father’s eyes during that visit, which was the last time I saw him alive; I could see his confusion and fear. My mother sitting by his bed seemed to give him comfort, as his children and grandkids, who were now strangers to him, took turns visiting him in his hospital room.
When my grandson asked God to not let us forget our time together, I thought of my father and all the camping trips, Christmases, Thanksgivings, road trips to Louisiana, birthday parties, and the times we sat on the floor in the living room and read snippets of the Los Angeles Times out loud to each other. Since my parent’s death, I’ve asked God not to let me forget my time with them. The feel of my father’s skin when I kissed him on his cheek, and the warmth of my mother’s embrace is fading, but for now, I still remember.
That night sitting under the stars having dinner with my son and his family I prayed that we would all remember the lives that we had lived and each other.