My father at the age of 21 in 1951.

My eyes welled up with tears as I sat there and listened to my cousin describe my father in his younger years. It was a part of my father’s life I had never known. Yet, in this, with each word, they seemed like pieces of the puzzle that would later become a picture of a man’s life well lived. The final product. The one in which I had known.

Dad was 40 years older than me and his dad, my grandfather was born in 1899 in Bergen, Norway. I never knew 3 of my grandparents, but I did always think it was cool that I had a grandfather born in the 1800’s.

What struck me about what I heard yesterday was that my dad never was a man of a lot of words. Yet, in this, he was an amazing listener and when he did speak, one would take note.. one would listen intently to what his mind would project in response. Dad had a great mind.

It was fascinating to me to hear of him always being this way. This was the way he was until the very end when he passed away in March of 2003 at the age of 72.

I had even blogged about it. But to hear this through the lens of a relative that knew him, but that I hadn’t never met was nearly too much for me to handle.

I miss dad. I miss talking to him and wondering what he was thinking when I spoke which only led to those moments when he spoke in response. If only I could have that experience happen one more time. Just one more time.

Sitting there listening to stories about my dad’s side of the family was like finding a trunk in the attic with a film projector and reels upon reels of film in it documenting the much of the life of one I adored so much, but had never known. I could have sat there for hours eating it up.

Perhaps in this, I find a piece of me I had never known.

Perhaps in this, several pieces of my own puzzle have fallen together in perfect harmony making up that section in the middle of the puzzle that led me through so many days of hunting for the right pieces to fit.

History doesn’t lie and in history, we can often learn about what our next move will be in life and how we may respond. This is my history and now I have a better understanding perhaps of my next move. Unless of course I need to… re-chart my course.

With all of this, my eyes welled up with tears as I sat and listened, wondered, reflected, reminisced, and yearned for one more moment with dad.

Today, another piece of my puzzle fell into place and you know what? …for once, it is a perfect fit.