Going through my father’s things with my mom shouldn’t be too difficult. As Mom prepares to leave their shared home, she is forced to evaluate every last remaining piece if his past to determine what is important enough move to the new house. So many items, while at first glance seem silly to retain, make the cut and are tenderly placed in the storage box. The tiny table he was gifted by a student to accompany his academic “chair”…the Democratic donkey paper weight he used to demonstrate his political preference in a super-conservative state…the golf visor he wore to his weekly round. The decision was truly between the “keep box” and the trash; nobody would rescue these items once they left our hands. But to me, they represent so many of the qualities we and countless others loved about him. Why is it that I feet guilty if I don’t save that visor? I would never wear it or use or even have a place to put it. I guess it’s because I yearn to grab on to any last vestige of his fatherly influence. Even though he died suddenly 14 years ago, these inconsequential items mean he is here again. The laughing, the “scotch talking”, the goading, and the guiding. So I slap that visor on my head and place the miniature table on a kitchen shelf. They all survive one more round of purging, and Dad smiles.