Another sunny day in May – 33 years later

Back in 2011 I wrote the story of my life, memory by memory from the start to the present moment. Maybe you have done the same at some point yourself? I was in a class and this was an assignment. Reading it now, I can see that I have healed and grown as a person, even since then.

My writing style at age 32 was different. I hadn’t practiced as much as I have now. I was doing it as a personal project and because of the scope, my details were bullet pointed, short and brief. On this blog, I tend to elaborate and examine small moments of life, constructing 700 words out of a brief thought. The ‘My Story’ document wasn’t built like that. My experience of looking at the way I looked at things probably had long lasting transformational effects. I suggest you challenge yourself to it sometime.

Today marks 33 years since my Dad’s living bodily presence was felt by his loved ones and friends. He’s been gone now longer than he was here. Today is a Saturday, just like May 21st was back in 1983, the day he drowned in the river while boating with his friends. Already this morning has started as sunny and delightfully springy, maybe like that one. I have spent time with my little girl and we visited the garden together. I suppose that weekend in 83’ started out about like mine did. It’s ending though, changed the course of the trajectory of our family for sure.

Here and now, I just want to acknowledge that this life event (or death event)  came in a flash, and yet touches so many of us still to this very moment. During the recording of my life story, I tried to capture all the flashbacks that I could recall from actual family moments before my Dad died. I was four years old then, and interestingly the quantity of those memories with my Dad could easily be tallied on one hand.

Here is a short excerpt of recollections, as written in 2011…

I don’t know the ages on these memories, but I would have to say Very Young. I’ll throw them out as scattered and incongruent, as I remember them to be.

  • My Dad coming home from work, and having Candy Necklaces for my sister and I, in his shirt pocket, and pretending not to. Every Day.
  • I had a pair of rubber boots that I liked they had a cartoon character on the bottom. And a cowboy hat too, my favorite outfits always included sweatpants.
  • I hated shoes in which I couldn’t wiggle my toes; drove me crazy.
  • Mom would lay on her back in the living room, with me on her bent knees, she’d hold my hands and bounce me and sing songs and play pattycake.
  • I had a little red dump truck that would hold a half a pack of Smarties, they tasted best eaten from it.
  • On Saturday mornings, we’d always be up early for cartoons. There was food too, maybe donuts, or cookies from the bakery or a trip with Dad to the family Restaurant downtown. I know at least one time I asked for ice in my chocolate milk, and got it.
  • I remember our house that had a transition. My parents remodeled it at some point. I heard later, that my Dad sold his motorcycle to pay for a new kitchen….

Maybe someday, I’ll return to this project and expand it where I can. Maybe then I could come up with more. To this day, I still hear new stories of my Dad from people I meet in public. He left a helluva mark on this place. I love though, the personal and intimate moments that I can access of my own. They are few but special. And yes, especially on days like this, I miss Him, a lot…

Dad-me-carwashUntil next week my friends, be well. You are loved beyond imagination. Your effect on this place is magnificent. You are important and someone somewhere will always be holding you in positive and warm thoughts, always…


Aaron Nichols


8 thoughts on “Another sunny day in May – 33 years later

  1. Much love coming to you and Jessica today (and every day). Be glad for the sweet loving memories you have of your Dad. Steve spoke often of his love and admiration for his brother, Joel. His great heartache was having to share that loss with you. You come from “good stock” young man!!!!!

  2. I still think about him and how much he would enjoy the things we do, (like next weekend)…and even the day to day stuff. I love him and still miss him.

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