Velocity is a topic I would hear my dad and his friends discussing, bullets and guns. All of the technical jargon was way over my head. But the concept of velocity is suddenly of interest to me.
My dad has pancreatic cancer.
It's taking him fast, as it's known to do.
Just four months ago he seemed fine, riding his motorcycle, shooting at the range, volunteering at the museum, enjoying life as a healthy, strong man who always had a yearning for knowledge and adventure.
Now he lies on his bed, so thin he barely makes an impression on the mattress, fearless eyes, huge in his head, unflinchingly staring death in the face. Even like this, he's an inspiration in his strength of character. He's a blue-eyed cheerful skeleton, grateful for every little thing.
Looking through old family photographs, trying to banish the skinny vision of him from my mind, replace it with a healthy picture, I came across a photo taken by my Grandpa McFadden. It's a lovely photograph of my Grandma and my dad and a horse in Kansas, circa 1942.
Even if I didn't know the subjects personally, I'd love this photograph. It's got a tenderness, a sweetness, a warmth that is timeless and so beautiful. So, this is the image I'm keeping in my mind now. I'm going to think of him at the start of his life, surrounded by good people and good animals, just the way my life is now.