As usual, today is a rather glum one for me. My wife’s dad died twenty years ago; my own father died nearly fifty years ago. I was not blessed with children and at this point in my life it’s pretty unlikely I ever will be. There are no fathers here to salute.
My dad died relatively young and quite suddenly, just as he and I were beginning to cultivate an adult relationship. As I’ve seen notices of his contemporaries’ passing at 80 or 90 or even older, it tears at me, like tearing off a bandage clinging to a wound. If he’d lived another ten years or twenty years, how different my life would have been! How much I’d’ve enjoyed and benefited from his unfailingly sound advice and, most of all, from his indomitable courage and unflagging energy and zest for life!
I’ve learned so many things I’d like to tell him, things about our family, things about myself. I’ve even learned some things I’d never known about him, things that took me up short in their parallels to my own life.
Instead of being able to savor relationships with my father or with my children, I’m left to tell my stories to passers-by, to anyone who’ll listen. It’s not much but it’s what I have.
Folks, love what you have while you have it. You never know long that will be.