During James’ move we found an unopened poster tube that was mailed to him and me in 2006. The handwriting was unmistakably Dad’s but was strangely neat and clear compared to other things he’d written at the time he was affected by Lewy Body Disease. We opened the tube to reveal eight travel posters he and Mom must have collected during their travels to Europe in the '60s.
My pals Jineui and JLT just returned from Korea with a New Year gift, their adoptee Olivia. I asked him what it feels like to be a dad:
it feels really, really, really, really good. pretty much better than anything else ever. even better than a really good sandwich, a MAGIC sandwich.
Ok, that’s pretty convincing. Maybe I'll reconsider my long-held stance against having kids of my own.
A week ago, I took an unexpected flight to my hometown Salt Lake City to see my Dad who was suffering from Lewy body disease. After several years of gradual decline, during which we saw the disease take its toll on his strong body and sharp mind, there were signs that the end was very near. In his dependable wisdom and foresight, Matt moved up my previously-scheduled Christmas ticket and I left a few days early to say goodbye to Papa.
I was given a full day with Dad. He was unable to open his eyes or speak, but he could hear and responded with small movements as I read to him from the newspaper and from his own notes and journals. Among these was a list of lifetime goals. Nearly all of these he achieved, including “live to age 70”. Dad died the next evening, in his sleep, in his own home, surrounded by family, at 72. What he did with those years was always impressive to me, but only after this week’s memorial services did his impact really sink in. Thousands of people were influenced by Bob Coles. Many of those in a deep, life-changing way. But before I say more, I’ll leave you with Matt’s excellent obituary which does much better justice to his legacy than I can. My own personal experiences and photos will come soon.
Matthew Coles: in sports news
Matthew Coles: Joe's team won its first game
Matthew Coles: They really came together
Matthew Coles: 22-12
Matthew Coles: Mom and Dad watched
Matthew Coles: then came over and Dad and Ben
Matthew Coles: squared off against Mom and me
Matthew Coles: At first Dad didn't seem like he was going to be able to do it
Matthew Coles: He almost shot at the plastic play fort instead of the hoop
Matthew Coles: but then his mind suddenly clicked
Matthew Coles: he was setting screens and doing his little jumper
Matthew Coles: and cheering for Ben
Stephen Coles: wow
Matthew Coles: It went to overtime
Matthew Coles: and Ben drove the lane and dished it back to Dad
Matthew Coles: He swished a jumper and they beat us
Matthew Coles: 36-34
Stephen Coles: jumper?
Stephen Coles: full on?
Matthew Coles: remember how he shoots those 12-15 footers?
Matthew Coles: same motion
Matthew Coles: may not have left the ground tho
Stephen Coles: wish i got to see that
Matthew Coles: Ben had about 26 pts
Stephen Coles: played that long?
Matthew Coles: Bob made at least 5 baskets
Matthew Coles: yeah, 8-foot hoop
Matthew Coles: everyone was on fire
Matthew Coles: I think I missed 1 shot
Stephen Coles: good energy on the court
Stephen Coles: Sylvia would say