Saturday, October 1, 2011

Full Circles and Brain Burns

My dad is a man of very few words.  Though, he hasn't always been that way. 

Used to be a family joke: 'don't ever ask Dad anything you didn't want to know too much about.' 

A family shopping trip to Sears could take much longer than planned.  When Dad decided to tell the refrigerator salesperson about his recent gall bladder surgery, an upcoming elk hunt or recent trip to Japan, we knew to find a comfy spot and wait it out.

As a little girl in Michigan, I spent many a Saturday at the Grand Trunk Railroad station hanging in the train tower with Dad and his work buddies.

It was mid 1960, Dad was healthy, early 30s, hard-working with a quick mind and easy dimpled smile. For hours the fellas talked trains and drank dark black coffee.  I loved to swing on the track switching levers; they knew I'd never be able to make those stubborn levers budge.  Being around trains is a dream come true for most 5-year-olds; I was no different. 

Brain burns.  Train Saturdays are one of my very first brain burns.

Brain burns are snapshots we take with our heart.  Moments in time that make up our life. 

About a year ago, my Dad suffered a stroke. 
Now his gait is unsteady. 
His speech isn't what it used to be.

This evening, while helping him out of the car, I noticed his shoe was untied.
"Dad, let me tie your shoe," I said as I kneeled next to him.
He smiled at me and said, "I remember when I used to tie your shoes."

A new brain burn to file.  I hope you'll create some 'brain burns' today.

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