My father would have been 71 today. Since his murder, things have happened that would have pleased him (although he wouldn’t have been thrilled with the courts’ imposition of this on the nation), and others that would have made him extremely angry. As for the latter, I don’t know if he ever really forgave the VA for his own father’s death from cancer in 1961. There was really nothing they could have done to save my grandfather’s life back then, but Dad told me he thought they could have at least made his father’s death easier or less arduous. As I said, the treatment (or lack of treatment) of America’s vets would have angered him greatly.
However, I prefer to think of him as being like Troilus. At the end of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, the titular warrior has been slain and looks down at his mourners from the afterworld:
And when he was slain thus, his freed spirit went blissfully up into the eighth sphere of heaven, leaving all the elements in their spheres below him. From there he gazed long upon the wandering stars, listening to the harmony of sounds full of heavenly melody, and then down upon this little spot of earth embraced by the sea. And then he began utterly to despise this wretched world, and held all to be vanity in comparison to the full felicity of heaven above.
At length he cast his eyes down upon the spot where he was slain, and laughed within himself at the grief of those who wept so for his death, and condemned all our deeds who follow so hard after blind pleasures which cannot endure, when we should cast our whole heart on heaven. (From Gerard NeCastro’s Modern English translation, Book 5)
But I’m a long way from the eighth sphere, and I remember him, and love him. Happy birthday, Dad.