Earlier this month marked 14 years since my father passed away. While the anniversary is always a solemn one, the pain it brings is not as sharp as it once was. Enough time has passed to dull the sadness and allow me to primarily focus on the good times we had.
My family and I went to The New York Society of Model Engineers’ museum today. As we drove up to the address, it was clear house was a better description than museum. We walked into the tiny locale unsure of what to expect. My children took one look around and were hooked! They stared in fascination at the model trains and could not get enough of them. While I was impressed with the classic trains, the great lengths of the tracks, and the details of the models/surroundings/stations, they were particularly impressed when Thomas followed by Annie and Clarabell took a trip around the track.
As I watched the trains go round and round, I noticed that the majority of people who were at the museum were men. Sure, there were other families there in addition to us, but if you looked, one would notice the large number of men who stood by fascinated. It was also clear that everyone who worked at the museum (members of the society) were male and many of them were older – 50+. As I pointed this out to my wife, she noted that this was the cool thing for them to do when they were you. This was their Wii, DS, and PS3. While we, today, may look upon it as nostalgic, it was once the primary choice of entertainment for boys. In fact, my own father loved models and trains. I remember him setting up a train table in our basement. He would pull out the large green track from the far corners of the garage every once in a while and leave the train up for a few weeks. Whenever he would go through this, he was very excited and always wanted me to watch them with him, and I did. He would stare at the train each time it came around with a smile on his face.
It was not till today that I made the connection between my children’s love of trains and my father’s. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice for him to be here? Wouldn’t it be nice for my children to have their grandfather? Sometimes despite the passage of time, a loss can still be felt.