K's father passed away just hours after Christmas Day ended the year K was sixteen years old.
I have many friends who have lost a parent at a young age and all of them continue to grieve.
I know K still misses his father -- on both extraordinary and ordinary days.
Days like the ones when he graduated from high school from college.
The day he got married or the days his children were born.
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays.
K and I spent Christmas 2001 in Dalat, Vietnam on our honeymoon backpacking trip.
On the day after Christmas, the anniversary of his father's death, K wrote his dad a letter and then burned it and Vietnamese incense.
The scented smoke carried his message upwards.
I know K laments not having his father around to meet our children, to ask advice about taxes and investments, parenting, career choices and life in general.
There is a way that I miss K's Dad too...
I wish I had known him.
I wish I had known K with him.
K's father was an engineer for IBM, a company man.
K and his siblings often recall the way that their father would provide an engineer's complex answers to their innocent questions.
They joke about how careful they were about asking him questions because querries would invariably lead to one of his legendary, hour long, university style lecture and discussion sessions.
Over the weekend I was in the kitchen and overheard K talking with The Mayor about the eclipse of the moon set to occur later that afternoon.
The Mayor didn't understand the word "eclipse."
The next thing I knew, K had a work lamp from his tool bench along with a basketball and a soccer ball and was delivering an elaborate science lesson on the rotation of the Earth, Sun and Moon.
I'm sure The Mayor didn't understand everything, but he was enthralled none the less.
I couldn't help but feel the presence of K's father.
He was there with us, visiting his grandchildren and delivering his gifts to them through his own son, their father.