With my wife, my mom, and my brother, I headed into the woods behind my childhood home.
We were there to spread my father’s ashes.
My father’s death changed me.
I lost a best friend and my number one supporter. He believed I could be a great writer when everyone else rolled their eyes at me.
I will always remember how he felt when I hugged his soft body in the hospital bed. He wasn’t the strong German man I grew up with.
He was fragile like the rest of us.
As we walked up the hill, we crunched through the leaves and picked trees that we thought my dad would like to help grow. We spread ashes under the most beautiful trees on the family property.
We wanted him to live on through his trees.
Man, did he love his trees. He refused to cut any down, even when our shaded pool struggled to warm up in the northeast summers.
He passed many of his values on to me, and I am so grateful for every moment that I had with him.
I now have the tools to live a great life because he helped me build my internal toolbox.
He always said, “You’ll never get this moment back. Just enjoy it for what it is and don’t expect it to be any different.”
My father will always live on in me, my brother, my mother, my sons, and his trees.