When my dad, Alvin, passed away in October my siblings and I searched for ways to honor his memory, his humor, and his ongoing presence in our lives. Some of us asked for simple remembrances like his favorite sweater, or, in my case, his high school class ring. (Unfortunately it was not found among his things.)
My sister, Leah, came up with a unique and fun way to keep Dad with us. She bought a couple of Alvin stuffed toysâ€¦no, not little images of a Norwegian Lutheran manâ€¦ but Alvin of Alvin and the Chipmunks fame. â€œTake him with you on your travels, and Iâ€™ll do the same. Letâ€™s send photos back and forth of Alvin getting into mischief!â€ she said.
When my husband and I were on our Princess cruise I wondered if people would think I was a little â€œtouchedâ€ to be carrying around a stuffed toy and photographing him in playful settings. (Okay, maybe that isnâ€™t the only reason theyâ€™d think I was odd, but stick with me here.) To my surprise, however, folks embraced the idea and joined in. I sent my shots over the phone to Leah, and before we returned home, she was sending me shots of Alvin on her trip to England.
In a relatively short time â€œAlvinâ€ has been flirting with women on the beach, on airplanes, in bars, and on a cruise ship. He has been caught sipping numerous cocktails, riding the train, photo bombing a shot of Big Ben, and making friends everywhere. Funny, but Dad made friends everywhere too. (As well as flirted like a hound dog, but thatâ€™s another story.)
This weekend my sister and Alvin went to San Diego. More shenanigans, more smiles, more of Dadâ€™s spirit surrounding us. Thank you, Leah, for reminding me how happy times are synonymous with Dad. Your gift and the ongoing photo opportunities are the best part of my day.