Rather than focus on sadness this past week, I've been revisiting my memories of the really great trip he and I took together in the summer of 2012. Over two weeks we did stops in Berlin, Prague, and Vienna.
During the trip, I recall thinking that we would likely not have a similar opportunity to spend so much extended time together again, but I never imagined he'd be gone 18 months later.
The above photo is one I think I may get framed at some point. I took it while we were on the train from Berlin to Prague. He looks somber, but he almost always did in pictures. In fact, we were having a lively chat that sunny morning.
Despite being an accomplished photographer himself, my dad never really liked being in photos. He was good enough to humor me on the trip, though, and I came home with some good shots of him, and of us.
This was our first day in Berlin, stopping for a photo op at the Brandenburg Gate. We stopped and ate Döner kebabs right after this. Mmm, Döner and beer on a sunny Berlin patio. Heaven.
A silly moment with one of the many bears scattered about Berlin.
In Prague, exploring our first afternoon. That's sort of a smile, for him.
Heldenplatz, Vienna. I'd wanted to show him "my" city since I first lived there in 1988. It was great to share time with him in such a great city. He really liked Vienna, proclaiming it "Almost as cool as Paris." High praise from him!
Being silly with a "floozy" at Rathausplatz, Vienna.
Relaxing at Heldenplatz on our last afternoon in Vienna. It was just a perfect day.
About a month before my dad died, he and I spent an afternoon together chatting. He told me that he had been replaying his memories of our trip together, and that they had cheered him and kept his mind pleasantly occupied.
"I keep thinking about drinking beer that last afternoon in Vienna," he told me.
I asked "What about the beers?"
His simple reply: "I wish I had that damn beer right now."
He was quite a guy. And I miss him.