For some reason, I remember a lot of dates and times. Not necessarily of upcoming events, but rather, of past events that, for whatever reason, just seem to stick in my mind. January 2, 2009, shortly after 3 AM is one that’s indelibly recorded in my memory.

Five years ago, almost to the hour as I’m writing this, my father passed away. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t think about him. Occasionally, that makes me sad, but most of the time, it makes me smile. Yes, I miss him, and I wish he were still alive and healthy. But, I feel fortunate to have had him in my life for half a century, and fortunate now to have him in my memories.

In I Am A Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter suggests that a person’s existence–maybe even, to some degree, their conscious existence–does not necessarily end when they die. He’s not suggesting the person crosses over into some otherworldly realm but rather, that the person can live on in the minds of others. Of course, most of the person is lost forever, but the details that remain in the memories of others are, quite literally, still here.

Many of the things I loved about my dad live on in my memories and the memories of family and friends. So, I am happy to remember, because remembering keeps him here, if only just a little.

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