Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What Would You Take with You?

Not too long ago I enjoyed reading the book "A Thousand Days in Venice," a fun read with great descriptions of Venice and yummy-sounding recipes. The story about a middle-aged American woman who falls in love with a Venetian and moves to Venice, Italy, reminds me of how quickly life can change directions.
I've also been working on family history stories and thinking of those who left behind their possessions to relocate to a new area and rebuild their lives.
It made me stop and think about what I would take with me if I were in a similar situation. Sometimes when I worry about David's health I go through the mental exercise of thinking about what I would do if something happened to David, or what we'll do when I retire. The answers are always changing depending on my mood, and truthfully I expect to be where we are for a long time to come. But it helps me keep my life in perspective.
Our experience of working to finalize my dad's estate was very difficult and sobering. The saying that we can't take material possessions with us when we die sounds trite, but it is so true. However, we can take the things that are of lasting value: love, family relationships, memories, learning experiences.
Dad didn't have many material possessions in his life; instead he focused on his family while we were growing up and during his later years chose to spend his time traveling and meeting new people. In the end, his true treasures were his family and the many varied experiences and adventures that he had during his lifetime.
Dad gave me the book about Venice after he came home from what turned out to be his last big trip. When I received his laptop computer I found a number of his photos on it from the last few years. I enjoyed looking at them, but I wish I knew the stories behind them. Here are some of my favorites from his photo album:

Hells Canyon on the Idaho side. One of Dad's favorite places

The Salmon River; another family favorite

Payette Lake in winter. When he was younger he enjoyed ice skating and playing hockey on the lake 

Every winter Dad and Kathy enjoyed spending a month in Maui. That tradition continued even after her passing. He spent the early spring of 2014 in Maui.

In 2010, Dad visited my brother Mike who was teaching school in Tokyo. The trip was especially meaningful because he had served in China during World War II as a tail gunner fighting the Japanese. The trip gave him closure from a difficult time in his life.

Dad and Kathy visited Europe several times over the years, and he always enjoyed the experience of seeing new sites and meeting new people. In July 2013, he and a friend visited Paris and Monet's garden at Giverny.

In September of 2013, he and his friend spent two weeks exploring Venice, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea on a cruise ship. He relished the sites and sounds of visiting new places and loved the adventure of traveling.

On the Albanian Coast

Roman Colliseum

Interior of the Roman Colliseum

Glass maker

Italian dance scene

Making lace