I love this picture of my father. He says that he wants it displayed at his wake, and I like to tell people that he is smiling because there's abalone in that backpack. He is doing one of the things that he most loves, my fisherman Dad. When he heard about our plans to adopt again, he called to ask me why, at "the height of my career," I would take this life-altering step. I reminded him about the cliche about looking back on one's life and wishing one had spent more time in the office. He sounded a little sad, mentioning how little he remembered of our lives as children. I told him that we knew he was working to provide for us.
Then I proceeded to tell him (believing it at the time) that I could simply give up my research for now, and create the space in my life for the little girls, and the boys, and Tom. "I don't need any more plaques," I said, and this much was true.
What I didn't realize at the time was that I hadn't found my backpack.