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Celebrating My Father's Life--Three Years after His Passing

Posted on 2012.05.13 at 06:47
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Today marks three years since you passed away, and it also happens to be Mother’s Day.  The sadness of losing you casts a long shadow, but it doesn’t eclipse the joy of  giving thanks for mom, because it’s appropriate to celebrate your life on the same day when we honor the woman you loved more than life.

Last week Derek and I took Mom up to Julian and went hiking with her in Paso Picacho, following the trails that lead to Cuyamaca Peak.  I can’t ever hike there without feeling close to you, remembering all the times our family camped there, and the miracles of nature you revealed.  Together, we marveled at all creatures great and small, deer and Monarch butterflies, woodpeckers drilling bark, bobcats raising pointed ears and water skimming insects.  I think about when I was small and you carried me on your shoulders, trading off with Tiffany in her little pink jacket, so we could soar between the pines and oaks like eagles.  We placed our hands in the hollows of the Indian grinding stones and crawled through the ancient trunk of the Fairy Tree.  So much of the forest burned, reduced like you to ash, but everywhere life is straining, bursting from the earth, just as you have been reborn and stretch toward the sky.

Even now, I picture you hiking through the forest, stooping to take a drink from Azalea springs.  The oaks rustle with a flurry of Monarch butterflies, their black and orange stained-glass wings a window into heaven.

I love you, Dad.  Thank you for the life you gave us.

Robert J. Crowther Sr.
June 27, 1944-May 13, 2009

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