"You know you father loved to do crossword puzzles." My mother says to me as we're working on a puzzle (of the non crossword variety).
"Really I had no idea?"
"Oh yes, we would do them together on vacation. He really liked doing them."
It hit me that I really don't know much about who my father was as a person. I was sixteen when he died and although I saw him regularly I still couldn't tell you what his favorite food was. I certainly didn't know he liked to do crosswords. It makes me sad that I don't remember him before his alcoholism consumed him.
I do have good memories of my father but they are memories of a child. There are things I would love to talk to him about now that I wouldn't have thought to talk about at sixteen.
I love when my my family tells me little stories about my father. My uncle Paul told me that he loved to run and was the nicest guy to everyone he met. My uncle Franny told me that he would sleepwalk and use the shade from the window as a blanket. My Aunt Maggie told me how my father stood up to her ex-husband who wouldn't leave her alone. My mother has shared quite a few good memories of my father, too many to list here.
Through the memories of others I feel like I continue to learn about my father even though he's gone.