A son's eulogy for his father:
"A few years ago, when my son Mack was a baby, we took the train to Aberdeen, and we made the mistake of counting on the Harford County taxi system to pick us up. It was cold and raining, and the baby was cold and getting rained on. And after half an hour, with the dispatcher still promising a cab in 10 minutes, he loaded an oxygen bottle into the car and headed down West Bel Air Avenue, the oxygen ticking in the passenger side, to get his grandson in out of the rain.
"I remember that oxygen bottle. His pulmonologist explained things this way, once: every day, he was climbing a mountain. He lived at the altitudes where adventurers falter and die. Weeks ago, the doctors saw his CO2 levels and said he would be dead in days. They thought they were dealing with someone from sea level. He had already climbed mountains to teach class, to visit his sister, to see both his sons married.
"He kept climbing. He climbed a mountain to sit at his kitchen table with his wife, and drink his coffee. He climbed mountains to see his younger grandson in his arms. He climbed further than anyone could see."
PUBLISHED: May 15, 2012
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1547 words)