One of the aspects of humans I find interesting is our memory. Of course when I say “we” I can not truly speak for all humans, but only my own experience. It may seem silly to say this, but I am not an expert in memory, even my own memory often escapes me at times. Disappointment can be a very strong memory, it can be brutal and consuming but its not like physical pain. Physical pain is sharp, I can go back to the time I broke my ankle and see myself in pain, see my ankle looking like a grapefruit and yet the pain is not really there. I could remember this pain while running, if I were every to run (a highly unlikely event), I could keep running right through the remembering. Disappointment is really quite different. If I were to remember any of my biggest disappointments I would probably need to stop running. My father was very sick before I was born so he was never a big part of my life. I met him again when I was in my early 20’s it was really weird to say the least, but really great too. It was a time in my life when family was not a very important part of my life. My friends were my family. So I only went to see my father a couple times a year. As we got to know each other, or at least as I got to know him. He had severe limitations with memory and reality. Coming from a person like me indicates a serious problem. where was I? After the second or third visit I dreamed of taking him to Disneyland one day. This is the kind of person I was back then. My idea of a good time was to take a person with a fragile grasp on the shared public reality of the time to a location with a shared public unreality. I don’t think it was mean spirited, I wanted him to experience the pure joy of amazing fantasy in living color right before your eyes, like a small child. It didn’t happen. I kept putting it off. There was always another crazy unreality event I wanted to go to. Some other project I wanted to work on. Maybe I was just afraid getting that close to him. He was living in a group home as a ward of the state. He seemed happy, it was a nice, place from what I could tell. At the same time I couldn’t help thinking he should be cared for by his family. It would have been a life changer for me. No doubt the state would have some concerns releasing him to me as a crazed 20 something. Who knows I might have needed to kidnap him, ala “Rainman” or “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest”. For whatever reasons we didn’t go. The day my uncle called to tell me he passed away the feeling of disappointment was huge and heavy. We never got to Disneyland. I have been with other family, nothing traumatic or overly thrilling. Mostly a feeling of waiting in line. Maybe the reality of the day or a manifestation of my sense of waiting to go with my father. With disappointment, the pain may not be as sharp a memory as a broken bone, but it can be a deep and broad ache. For me it is the type of pain that allows me to keep running and in fact seems to push me to run faster and farther to build happiness to repaint the past with a better color. I may not take my kids to Disneyland but I will not wait to take them to crazy unreality together. We will not be disappointed!