I’ll Remember You

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I’ll Remember You, Dad Earl

In big families there is no lack of celebrations.

On February 7, 2007, I had my first opportunity to “film” one of these events with my new Digimax camera (with built-in Movie Clip mode) I’d received for Christmas from my son Bill and his wife Jen. I had no idea what a priceless gift this fruit would bear: the only video footage of my stepfather — “Dad” Earl Thelander — I ever got to take before he died from third-degree burns he sustained when a cowardly burglar exchanged $15 worth of copper propane gas piping for a good man’s life.

This video, however, is intended to celebrate the countless happy times my family and I shared with him…the way I most remember “Dad” Earl.

The event is my sister Kysa’s birthday, held in my 100-year-old home despite kitchen and dining room renovations. That’s the great thing about a large, loving family, as you’ll see; they’ll gather to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, and, in the midst of all the have-more-cake-and-ice-creams and kids and dogs and laughter and love, they’ll somehow overlook the make-shift kitchen counters and yet-to-be refinished hardwood floors poking out beneath a host of mismatched area rugs.

They know what’s important.

Despite my amateurish (and first ever) attempt at video recording, I managed to put together a short movie encompassing the event, and then, later, extracted sections from that for the five-minute clip you’ll find above.

There are no “official” rolling credits, though I hope Grayson Hugh will understand my using here his lyrical and poignant “I’ll Remember You” composition. There simply was no runner-up.

Sort of like Earl.

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