Last week the thing my father loved most was towed peacefully from Commencement Bay to a scrap metal yard in Texas. On a gray day, when the water was smooth, his beloved ship made her final voyage past his home. He stood on his deck, camera in hand, and watched as her old metal frame was pulled from his view.
He e-mailed my sisters and me a picture and wrote simply, “There she goes.” We’ve long had a joke in our family that his ships are our other sisters. He devoted his life to their voyages, their repairs, their temperaments. And in my youth it felt like he was more committed to them than he was to me.