Each of us has someone that has had a major affect on our lives. Hopefully, it is a positive affect. For me, it has been my Dad. In 1996, he lost his battle with Alzheimer's. My Dad was a soft spoken, “gentle” man. A pharmacist by profession, he touched many lives in the little rural town near our home. Not only did he dispense medications for their physical pains, he also took time to look beyond those pains, and he helped to mend their souls. Over the years, I have heard many stories about “Dr. Neal.” The common thread in all of their stories is the fact that he was a kind, patient man, who genuinely cared about all living things. I’m grateful to have known him, and I’ve been blessed to have had him for my Dad.
About two years after his death, I awoke from the most vivid dream that I have ever had. Tears were streaming down my face, and I felt both extreme joy and sadness. In my dream, my Dad was sitting beside me, and he was talking about his last years with Alzheimer’s. He told me to write down some of the stories...good and bad…happy and sad…so that my children, his grandchildren, would remember them. I began writing down the dream, and I spent most of that day with pen and paper, and it became my book, Pawpaw’s Hat.
I believe that we all have guardian angels or spiritual guides. I believe that my Dad is one of mine. I miss him every day, but I know that I see the beauty in nature and feel the blessings of the ordinary things in life because he still helps me to stop and look…and care.