The following is an article I wrote for Grandin Media looking back on the recent deaths of my father-in-law and my own dad, what it was like to go through their things, and the legacies we leave behind:
The last year and a half has been among the more difficult my family has ever experienced.
In April 2017, my father-in-law passed away, and this past January my dad died as well. In both cases, part of my responsibilities to these men had me cleaning out some of their spaces – my father-in-law’s work bench and by dad’s office – going through what they had left behind.
When we were visiting my mother-in-law last July, she gestured towards the garage and told me I was welcome to anything I thought I could use or need. As I began to go through the various shelves and drawers, I unearthed some treasures from his life. I came across part of the cattle brand he’d used on his farm for more than 30 years. I found some of the tools that had belonged to his father – 60 years ago, he had been the local mechanic in Shuler, Alberta, northeast of Medicine Hat. I found buckets of screws and parts that only he would have been able to correctly identify. And I found a 50-year-old notebook that none of his family had ever seen before, but which documented some of the work he’d done on another farm in the late 196s.
I have to admit, as I sorted through these things – packing some up for myself, some for my brothers-in-law, and some to be given away; I felt a little like I was trespassing.
Read the rest by clicking the link below: