As my father's memorial service nears, I've been enjoying putting together a collection of friends' and family members' memories and episodes about their relationship with my dad and shared activities of the past. My brother scanned a number of old photos my mom dug out and sent them to me to help me illustrate the words with past images, too.
While typing and laying out the pages for the planned memory book, I've been gradually visualizing the poster collage I will create after arriving at my mom's later this week. I hope to hang the collage in the room where the reception will be held following the service. I bought the file folder book to house the pages I've finished so far on the computer; it is fun to see it all come together after planning this for so long (since a couple of weeks after my dad's passing in mid-November). And it has been a real joy to relive so many memories, and glimpse into ones of my father's friends and associates as well.
In Japan there is a way to describe a man like my dad: they would say, "his face was wide" (顔が広かったです。）. This means he really knew a lot of people from all different walks of life, all over the world. He had a large influence on so many, and I've been blessed to hear their accounts of what a great man he was. Thank you to any of you reading this today. It's been a privilege!