Ten years ago this week, I sat at my father’s bedside in his final days. In those last breathing moments, I did not know what I would remember of him. I just knew that something was happening in that bright, white, dreamlike hospital space. I know now that I was experiencing my father’s gradual transformation from fully alive and here and now, to being in remembrance. My grandfather was already there, in a place where earthly imperfection is gone and the godly goodness of what we choose to remember becomes our inheritance, our birthright.

We sat at the kitchen table,

preparing food and remembering

what we only knew from others:

Grandfather was a good man.

We remembered it in stories of

feeding the poor, of donating

blood, of building a school

and a temple. These things

we imagined, like scenes

from an old movie, playing

behind our eyes and

allowing us to see a truth

we wanted to hold, for

Grandfather, and also for us.

Remembering his godliness,

we remembered what we

could be. “Do this for

the remembrance of me,”

our priest says each Sunday.

But at the kitchen table,

we did the same, and sat

taller and made plans

and knew who we were.