Report from I-40, on the road to Smith Ridge from Nashville: On Saturday, up on Smith Ridge, my family, friends, and the people of the Friendly Chapel Church will celebrate the life of my Dad, Greg Hankins. I will sing Polishing Stars -- the last song that I wrote while in a musical conversation with Dad. We'll sing two of Dad's favorite hymns, Lord of the Dance and In the Garden. His best friend from college will speak about him and my sister will read a poem. Our friend Dwight will read Dad's favorite Bible verses. And we will put some of Dad's ashes in the family cemetery next to Pawpaw Avery and Mawmaw Narcie.
People all over the world will be enacting a similar ritual at the same time. And for all of us, these motions will be a goodbye among goodbyes.
I say goodbye to Dad every time I reach for the phone to ask him a question or ask his advice. I say goodbye when I hold a piece of leaded type in my hand or thumb through the last book he gave me. Dad is everywhere except in his body anymore. And the admixture of goodbyes with the hello of discovering his voice in me, makes for an entirely new walk with Dad.
Thank you so much to all of my friends who have sent condolences and encouragement.