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Two Birds...One Stone.
Mothers Day 2010 caused me to, once again, remember
So today is the 46th anniversary of my Father’s death.
WOW! I have difficulty getting my head around that.
Daddy: I hardly knew you!
Ive been married longer than I knew you.
Ive had my children in my life, longer than I knew you.
I am older (by a lot!) than you were, when you died.
You were so young! So many things you were robbed of. So many memories you didn't have the chance to make. So much of life, stolen from you.
I still miss you. You were an amazing influence on me. You taught me the meaning of family and how important it is to stay close. You taught me about unconditional love and not judging people. You made it easier for me to survive the years after you died by knowing how much you loved me.
There were times, I was sure that I would never have known what love was, had it not been for you. And I am sure that I could not have made it through those lonely, frightening years after you died, had I not remembered the strength you showed as you were dying and the love you were still able to give to all of us despite knowing that your end was near.
You taught me to fish and bait a hook and oh how I looked forward to Saturday mornings, being awakened at dawn to go out with you to Lake Louise.
Oh! the memories I have of you! The lazy, crazy days of summer and family picnics. The yearly drive to Florida and knowing with you at the wheel, we were safe. Friday nights and popcorn made the old fashioned way. Saturday nights with Millions hamburgers in a brown paper sack, long before McDonalds. Sunday morning, you, dressed to the nines in a suit and tie and your alligator shoes. Me full of pride, at Mass, because my Dad was an usher. Your voice, all those many years ago, singing the songs of your youth and teaching me to harmonize. Sitting on summer nights on the porch, listening to crickets and knowing that all was right with my world. Being proud of the father who served his country.
I also remember the pain of your dying. Of letting you go and knowing that you knew, you were going.
I remember our last Christmas together, just after the JFK assassination and how I felt, somehow, a kinship with Jackie Kennedy because I knew that soon, we would lose you. I remember you walking the house, late at night, full of pain and unable to sleep. I also remember a night, when you thought I was asleep, and you sitting on the edge of my bed, stroking my hair, tears falling from your eyes. I wish Id had the courage to open my eyes and sit up and tell you I loved you and that I understood (in my 13 year old way). I wish I had hugged you then and kissed you and told you that I would miss you always, but I was frightened of the inevitable and wasn't sure what to do or how to say what was brimming over in my heart....And so I missed an opportunity that I wish I had back.
Somehow though, I think you know that all these years later, I still love you Dad. It matters not that you haven't been here for the milestones, it only matters that I remember you and that I try very hard to make sure my children and grandchildren know you.
Thank you for being the wonderful, loving man you were. I can't imagine not having had you in my life and even though I wish I had had more time with you, I was lucky to have you for the time I did.
And to Mom: Happy Mothers Day. Its easier these days to talk to you. Life moves on, as they say it does.
But I don't discount that I wish, in some magical way, you and Dad could be here, with all of us, forever. I like to think that both of you are together and are happy. It gives me some comfort to think that what you couldn't achieve in life, you may have found in death.
As I grow older, I feel closer to both of you. I think that must be normal for all sorts of reasons.
Tomorrow is the day we celebrate mothers. I just wanted you to know that I remember and always will.