Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Leif Would Have Loved It

Tonight I was looking online for birthday and Christmas gifts for my soon-to-be nine-year-old grandson, Marcus, and I couldn't help thinking how much Leif would have loved the things that are available today, particularly the computer games and the Nintendo DS and the games for it. If he were alive and had a boy of his own, he would have such a good time playing them with a son.

He had wonderful toys when he was a boy, too, particularly because of our three years in Japan. The Japanese shows and toys made it to Hawaii about the time we left Japan and followed us to the mainland USA, where he got interested in other things as well, like his radio-controlled model cars.

I still have so many of his computer games here, wondering what to do with them, ones he purchased as an adult. He loved the action, the simulations, the sci fi worlds he could inhabit.

Another thing I found on his computer was his iTunes subscription to marvelous photos taken by the Hubble space telescope. And Peter W. reminds me that Friday night was sci fi night on television, with his favorite shows.

His imagination soared. He found a creative outlet for it in his association with ZAON, but I wish he had done more on his own.

I remember shopping for gifts for him when he was a boy Marcus's age, and his delight in getting those gifts, how earnestly and devotedly he played with them, how thoroughly engaged he was.

He never outgrew those kinds of games, toys or gifts, in a sense; they just got more sophisticated (and expensive).

I was looking at the photos of him opening birthday gifts, remembering how much fun we had. Sometimes, in the sadness and mourning his loss, it's hard to remember that we had so many good times. I am so grateful for all the photos we took, because I will always be able to look at them and be reminded that there WERE good times, great times, happy times, for him as well as us and be glad for that. For every one of them.

We didn't know how good they were until they were gone. We appreciated our life and our family, but not enough. None of us really know the value of what we have until we lose it, no matter how much we love and are and are thankful for it.

This rather pensive photo of Leif was taken in Osaka, Japan in February 1983. We were there because I was attending a conference of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District, and Peter W. came along with the boys and went signtseeing in Osaka while I was in the conference. Leif had just turned 8 years old. He still has the cast on his left arm from when he fell on the school playground and broke it.

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