My Dad was born on this day in 1933.
I knew him for 42 years, then he died.
All I have now are the memories of him and the sense that he is watching over me.
The day after he passed away, I went home and took a nap. My Dad did not live with me in his last years. But I had a strange dream that day. In the dream, someone was breaking into my home. It was a strange man, who was trying to bust through the door. I sat still and calm across the room, and was thinking to myself, I’m not worried, because my Dad sits right behind the door and he’ll get the man.
The man hit the door hard and knocked it down, and stormed into the room at me. I screamed and ran away from him, and made it out the front door. I screamed out so that people could hear me. After awhile of nothing, I went back indoors. The man was gone. I looked around for my father. He was supposed to have stopped the man, but he hadn’t. Where was he? I looked everywhere in the house, calling his name, and no answer. I went back outdoors and looked for him out in the yard, nothing. In my dream, my Dad was ALWAYS there behind the door. He would never have left without saying something to me. That just wasn’t like him. Something was strange. I stood there frozen and puzzled trying to figure it out.
For a fleeting second, the puzzler lingered into my wakefulness. When I came to, the answer came to me immediately. It was real, he was gone. My subconscious mind must have been trying to make sense of it all. I had always considered my Dad my protector. No matter where I was, I had the knowledge that, if my Dad found out, he would come and take care of the situation.
I loved my Dad because he was:
confident – he set his own rules. Sometimes that was good, sometimes not. He had bowlegs and that made him look tough.
a social magnet – people loved him. He knew how to say things just the right way. He spoke from his heart. I remember when he was in a car accident, I almost had to pull a numbered ticket to go visit him. People of all ages, young and old were drawn to him. He could charm anyone. For a period of time, he was in politics, where he belonged.
intelligent – He had the insight of an innovator; He was both book smart and street smart. He could rub shoulders with the Governors and with the gangsters. (Believe it or not, hanging with the Governor was more trouble.) I learned a lot from him about history – I think that was his major in college.
One of his greatest virtues was his equanimity under adversity. He had life experiences worth writing a book about. He did write an autobiography but he never wanted it published. I may one day write a variation of it in my own words. I’ve observed him since the days I when I yay-high and I just marveled at how he could pick himself up again… and start back on the road of the life again.
. . . it took pancreatic cancer to nail him. And in his words, the treasure box of blessings in heaven that his lategrandmother kept for him, had – . (He never finished the last chapter, I couldn’t get it out of him, so I never found out what happened to the treausre box.
Thanks for reading.
I miss you, Dad.