Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Father is Gone

He had his 84th birthday recently, but didn't think of himself as old. He'd been fighting cancer for the last three years, but didn't think of himself as sick. Going to the doctor was just to humor the rest of us.

When I was a baby, I had persistent colic. He would sit up for hours, rocking me and singing silly nonsense songs so I would sleep. He was one of the few people to admit to liking schmalz, the flavored lard spread (hence the usual meaning, cloying or goopy). He would eat anything except okra. Even the carefully prepared cupcakes with a cotton ball baked in the middle, a prized family practical joke that he had told me about himself. We had to stop him before he swallowed the entire thing. That's when we knew things were bad, when he said "I'm not hungry."

He had an ... adversarial relationship with ladders. Neither of us kids ever had to go to the emergency room, but he had a habit of falling off the roof and collecting stitches. He kept promising to invent anti-gravity and go to the stars. He liked to argue with me about electrons and the Big Bang Theory and anything else that was handy.

I wasn't done with him yet. Give him back!


Anonymous John of Argghhh! said...


I love the last line - and I'm sure your Dad does too.

6:30 AM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous AFSister said...

I'm with you John. Damn it.

7:42 AM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous John of Argghhh! said...

Oh! Oh! And I'm *totally* with him on that whole okra thing!

That and beets.

8:05 AM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous BillT said...

He and I shared a propensity for falling off the roof.

Just not the *same* roof.

And sometime when you're standing on the porch during a still summer evening, you might feel an errant downdraft on your cheek, tickling your ear and your memory...

11:39 AM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous John of Argghhh! said...

What Bill said... that and the occasional inexplicable giggle that slips your lips.

When it happens to me, I know that "Pop" has been by and administered an ethereal belly fart...

12:26 PM, August 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May he rest in peace and you find the peace as well. He will be missed but remembered by those who knew and loved him. Smile as you remember his.

12:26 AM, August 15, 2009  
Blogger Barb said...

I love the pic, and am sorry that I'll never get to meet him.

I sent the ghost of Shoes-The-Cat to twine about his ankles.

11:42 AM, August 18, 2009  
Blogger iamfelix said...

I lost my dad in '76, when I was 24, my mom in 2005. I now have an ailing stepfather who's 95 - It doesn't get any easier. My sympathies to you, BCR.

3:24 AM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger HunBun said...

I'm so sorry...
It IS a great picture...looks (and sounds) like he was lots of fun.

6:52 AM, August 27, 2009  

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