The Things Dad Carried

Ronald Ernest Fournier
August 30, 1939 – March 16, 2014

The things Dad carried were largely determined by his love. Among his mementos were a St. Christopher medal, a picture of his mother, a picture of mom, a loc of our sister’s hair pressed in a plastic bag, a prayer card, an American Legion membership card, a Red Wings schedule, a handful of change for a paper or a cup of coffee, a badge and a leather notebook.

Dad’s notebook was wrapped in a thick rubber band to keep the business cards and receipts from falling out. It was chock-full of birthdates, to-do lists, planned favors (“fix Mary’s gutter”, “call Ed’s lawyer”, “take mom to doc’s”), appointments pending, batting averages, and devotions.

I remember once finding the dog-eared notebook under the front seat of the family station wagon. I took off the rubber band and it sprang open, sprinkling scraps of paper onto my lap. His distinctive cursive filled the journal. I found the dates of our ball games, references to work, car mileage and gas usage, and titles of books he had read. The mundane and the profound were scattered within a worn diary where our dad recorded the little parts his big life.

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