When my father moved to Bellingham to be with me about ten years ago, he promptly adopted the children of my closest friends as his own grandchildren. Most of these kids had absent fathers. He attended their games and cheered them on, he never forgot a birthday, he gave them the gift of his time and love and presence. As years went on, he attended graduations and weddings.
On Wednesday, two days before he died, he met his first adopted great-grandchild: eight-day-old Ava Irene, daughter of Jessica Irene, daughter of Nora Irene, daughter of Peggy Irene.
As his eyes lit up in joy to see little Ava, I saw the gates of birth and death swing wide.