I read in the Times recently about a Japanese film “After Life” that proposes that when you die you get to pick a single memory to live in eternally. What memory would you pick?
I know what I would want to experience for eternity. I considered choosing one of those fall afternoons in the 70’s that uncle Gerry, my grandfather, occasionally my dad, and I would gather to watch the Steelers beat up on the other team. When I was little I was usually working on a model of some sort while we watched, when older Gerry and I had a running chess match that I almost always won. He must have beer really bad as when I played my father, who learned how to play in Germany where they take the game seriously, I always got my hat handed to me.
Those are sweet memories, but I have a single moment that I consider to be the pinnacle of my life. It was the summer before the whole divorce proceeding started, probably about 2002. We were at the Festival of the Hills at Borden park to watch the fourth of July fireworks. I was sitting on the grass next to Sandy, we each had a kid in our laps, the fireworks were going off in sync with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. it truly was. At that moment I was the happiest and most content I have ever been. I thought I had everything that was important to me, a great life, a happy marriage, two wonderful kids. It can’t get any better than this.
It turns out it couldn’t. Other than the two wonderful kids , most of what I thought I had was an illusion that would fade away over the next year. But for that one shining moment, I had it all.