I really haven’t talked a lot about my Dad in this blog but I think it’s time I did. He was the hardest working man I knew. He would sometimes work 3 jobs near Christmas so he could provide for us kids whatever the current have to have thing was. He always wanted my Mother to be a stay at home mom. And she was until us kids were either, out of the house or in High School. I can remember when my Mother told him she wanted to work. It was like he had failed at being a provider. He had a lot of trouble with it until Mother started buying her on Romance Novels, which she was addicted to that he realized maybe this working thing wasn’t a bad idea. He was a DI for the 101st airborne during the Korea war. He was 5’ 10” of romping stomping do what I say or it’s not going to be pretty guy. I can remember whenever we would get out of line the famous you wait until you Father gets home line. Man then you spent the rest of the afternoon waiting until he arrived and were in a blind panic until you knew she wasn’t going to rat you out and you would live to see another day. I also remember having to be so quiet during the day. He worked for a large airline for over 38 years. He also played in a band at night. His shifts were all over the place. Days, early morning, late afternoons, evening, and even mid nights so he sleeping habits were about as set and wet concrete. He always looked tired and seemed to live on hot black coffee and cigarettes. He was always in his underwear, and didn’t care who came to the house he was still in his underwear unless my mother just put her foot down, then he would put on the ugliest shortest the world has ever seen. I think he got those shorts out of the trash at least 10 times before my mother finally took them to a neighbor’s house to throw them away!! So as you can see he was a character to say the least. He was am man of much love that always showed it but never said it. I think that might have been his army training. I’d hear him tell my mother so many times it was drilled into my being that that is how you treated your mate in life. He loved her beyond anything I have ever seen. He would buy her anything and everything she ever even mentioned. This is another habit I picked up and wished I had not. He would go into debt for anything she wanted and it took me almost 40 years to figure out that was not the smartest way to show you love and commitment. But he was a stand up guy to say the least and there is not one day that goes by that I don’t miss him to the point of pain. It is said you become a man the day your Father dies and no truer words can be spoken. I almost beg him for advice sometimes when I am having difficulty with anything in my life. Man I miss him right now. I can hear him saying no body reads that stuff why you writing all that mess about us. What a guy.
I say all of that because yesterday I had an amazing thing happen to me. I really have no bad memories of my father than the one or two times maybe he had a small battle with the alcohol, mainly beer for him. But they were rare to say the least. I think they come to mind because they bothered my Mother so much. But he was able to break out of the bonds every time and cold turkey at that. He had amazing will power over everything in his life, but I digress. There is one thing that I didn’t realize meant anything to me until yesterday. You see I went to watch my son, he was in a professional competition and I was there of course. I have always been there through his basketball. I can remember when he lived with his Mom driving two and a half hours to watch a forty five minute game, but I was there. When I was younger I played every sport that would have me. I played Football, Baseball, Basketball, Softball, Bowled hell I even played tennis for a brief period of time; Get this I was even in the Chess club for Christ sakes!! I say all of that to say the reason for this post. My Father never saw me compete in anything I just mentioned. I always blew it off when I was a kid understanding he was either working or sleeping from the two or three jobs he always seemed to have to support us. However, yesterday standing there watching my son it all came rushing back to me and I almost started crying. I felt like some kind of retard standing there in a room full of people, that were having a blast, fighting back tears. I guess I wanted him to feel what I was feeling that he never did. That sense of pride of watching your off spring growing up, competing, just enjoying the simpler things of life. I think in a small way it validates that you were an OK parent because your kid is doing something that is fun and enjoys. I was watching my son as he was in the middle of the competition always looking to make sure I was watching and paying attention to his every move. And the second it was over he came straight to me and was asking what I thought and did I think he did Ok? It was all I could do to hold it together to answer him. I was too busy missing my Father and wishing I had had this exact moment with him.
Wow as I sit here writing this I’m tearing up again; so I guess this really did mean a lot to me.
I always close by telling you where the blessing are in the story so here is what I think about this one. I was blessed to have the special Father I had, he always provided anything and everything we ever needed. He loved us and tried his best to make sure we were safe and comfortable. So that’s one blessing. I was super blessed to have shared with my son hundreds of times where I was there in the stands supporting him. Be it sports or professional I have been there. There is one other thing I found interesting yesterday. I think I was the only parent there. I guess you never to get old to support your kids. And please know every time you watch them it means something to them even if they don’t act like it now. I have some dear friends who never miss a chance to support their kids. Like me they will drive hours to make sure they are there to support and cheer. I only hope their kids understand what a blessing it is they are there.
Well I rarely write about things this close to home but somehow now I feel better about my situation. I understand my father couldn’t be there. I only wish for him he could have the feeling in his heart I had yesterday and the numerous times I have watched and cheered my son.
Well there you have it, a post for me. I think it is time to go and tell my dad I love him wouldn’t want him to get the wrong idea. Love you Dad and miss you madly….
The Blessed Man