Assuming one of you had picked it up and walked off with it, we tore the house apart, looking in every nook and cranny we could find. Grandpa walked the yard and scoured the mulch pile where you’d spent most of the morning. Grandma tore into the couch where I first sat down when we got there. We searched pockets and purses, boxes and beds. I’m pretty sure someone even tore into the trash in hopes of finding it. There was seemingly no where we hadn’t looked…no stone left unturned. I actually gave up, resigned to the fact that it was most likely lost forever. I’d already started conjuring up a plan B, planning how to get home without it.

What we were faced with is indicative of an issue you’re going to have to face someday. The older I get, the worse my memory gets. I can have a conversation and forget it within a few hours…I can set something down somewhere and within minutes not know where I put it. There are full years of my life that have passed by, leaving me few memories…if any. Much of my youth is but a blur to me by now. Trust me when I say it’s as frustrating to me as it ever will be to you. Your mom has graciously resigned herself to accepting it, and been amazing with her forgiveness of me in this. As you grow, I don’t anticipate that this problem of mine will improve. By the time you’re teenagers and young adults, you’ll have realized that I have a problem. And it’s now that I ask for your forgiveness of my short-term memory loss. Please know that if there is only one thing I could change about myself, this would be it. I really do want to remember more. One day you’ll understand that it truly is more frustrating for me than it ever will be for you. It’s not easy to come to terms with your own mortality.

Finding yourself three hours from home without a key to the van is not really a place you’d expect to find any humor. And yet as frustrated as I was standing there in front of the bathroom mirror, I couldn’t help but laugh as I stared at the man looking back on me. Thirty minutes of frustrated searching later, it hit me. Did I put it in my back pocket? Surely not! Why on Earth would I do that? And as I reached back into that pocket to find one single, solitary key to the van, I couldn’t help but laugh. I hope that one day in your frustration with my memory loss, you too can look back and laugh every once in awhile…at the realization that dad probably didn’t even know he had the key all along.

Love,

Dad

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