I am not sure how to write about my father's recent death. I have tried several times over the past two weeks. Some people say I am too numb to feel anything. I feel. I feel sad and proud and grateful. I probably feel more feelings but those are the only words coming to mind right now.
When I heard the news - my sister had the unfortunate responsibility of telling me our father died hours earlier - I fell to the ground and cried. No, wait, first I said, Whose Dad died? Our dad died? I had just woken up - hadn't even brushed my teeth yet. It was my sister's birthday. I thought she was calling me to talk about our favorite meditation in Emmet Fox book which we read every year on her birthday. And as she repeated the unbelievable words, I knew they were true. I cried for a bit. The tears just came. When I stopped crying, I started asking questions. Questions only the Coroner knew. They had to perform an autopsy. An Autopsy? The Coroner? I knew then I had entered a new dimension of living.
So then it began. Phone calls, texts, plans, ideas, prayers, wishes, directions, notifying, phone numbers, travel arrangements, websites, charities, celebration arrangements, relatives, friends, acquaintances, food, rides, pictures, stories, laughter, tears, ad infinitum.
One of the interesting aspects of my father's passing is my inability to remember - with sufficient force - the bad stuff. Albert Dinkins Jr. was no saint and yet for the past two weeks I have heard and remembered nothing but his goodness. He was a good guy. A genuine good guy. A man of faith. A man who loved his family. A good friend to his friends. A man who actively sought to be a better man. Story after story, person after person - from his distant past to the very present - had stories about his goodness. Not that I expected people to speak ill of the dead, of course not. But what I have learned - one of my dad's final lessons, is that although we may come up short in many aspects of our lives, a genuine smile, a solid handshake, a kind word, a sense of humor and taking an interest in someone's life - however brief - will take a man all the way to the Promised Land.
I will miss my Pops. And I am proud to have been able to call him my dad for these 44 years.
Lori Ann Dinkins
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