Welcome to my little spot on the Internets. This will be a place for reflection, and I plan on being creative with my posts...some may not make much sense to anyone but me, but if you bear with me you just might laugh or learn something.
Today I found my dad to really be in his element. Sixty-two and just starting to come to terms with his impending "golden years," Dad was having a grand old time with his best friends—or at least the ones he's kept up with—back at the family residence. The group was laughing (this one guy in particular had the most outstanding guffaw, it's like you know something was funny when you heard that 'HAH!'), sharing old times, talking politics, downing food and booze, and just plain having fun. They're greyer than the last time I saw them—a decade ago, during our last family vacation the summer before I left for college—but they seem the same lively group. The bond that holds them together is a tour of duty in the Peace Corps in Guatemala during the heart of the Vietnam War. Some were there strictly to avoid the draft. Others simply wanted to do something meaningful with themselves in between college and the rest of their lives. It's amazing, incidentally, how many of them became lawyers; probably half, I'd guess! The guys came from all over—California, Texas, New York, Virginia, Oregon—but to see them here after all this time has made my father really come to life. It makes you realize how great it can be if you keep in touch with people instead of just saying you will. How often do you promise to write or call and completely lose touch with people who once filled your life with joy, sadness, laughter, and all the rest? From what I hear this group was special—many of the other Peace Corps groups from that time did not reunite afterward or try to stay in touch with one another. I can see how happy it makes these men to be able to come together like this and not only relive the past but just catch up with each other and gossip. It's a powerful lesson that I hope I can heed in some way. ∞