Fifteen Years Later

Fifteen years ago today, my father passed away after a mercifully brief bout with cancer. He was only diagnosed the month before. That gave him enough time to set his affairs in order without having to endure protracted suffering.

I thought then – and still believe now – that having a month's warning is about the best one can hope for when your time inevitably comes.

I was fortunate to be with my dad – holding his hand – when he shuffled off this mortal coil. At his request, his body was donated to science. Two years later, when his remains were returned, we laid him to rest in the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery.

This June I made my first visit since his memorial. Today seems like a great day to post this photo I took on that trip.

A photo of my dad's nook in a columbarium at Arlington. The camera is right up against the surface angled to look down the length of the structure. The caps are tan marble with names on them that blur as the farther away from the camera they are. Each cap is secured by four ornate rivets in the the corners. Right right quarter of the frame shows the sidewalk leading to the columbarium with a partly cloudy blue sky above it that's casting a soft light on the scene.

Life is short. Sometimes much shorter than you would have guessed. Remember this. Get off your tail. Go make something your kin will be proud after you're gone.