Today was a good day, a calm and kind day, a day of gentle but powerful connections. It was my father’s birthday, his 77th. I called him and had a sweet talk with him on the phone. He lives in England, many thousands of miles away, so I don’t see him much, and his memory is very shaky, so it’s hard to have normal conversations with him. But today, though he may not have remembered or cared that it was his birthday, he was clearly grateful for the call and spoke with more clarity than I have heard from him in a long while. He also asked me how I was doing and listened carefully, sending me via the phone the love, warmth and “I believe in you” reassurances that only a devoted parent can. I thanked him for always having done that for me, as it has always given me great strength. After I hung up, I lay on the bed and let myself cry, glad to have had that precious connection with Dad once more. I no longer take those for granted.