Sunday, June 17, 2012

repost - A Note to Dad

Hi Dad. Wherever you are, I hope you’re happy. I’m not sure if there is a heaven, but if there is, I know you’re helping somebody in need, like you did throughout your life.

Every Fathers Day, I get to wondering about the afterlife. What if Buddhists are right about reincarnation? I could see you coming back as a single daffodil, picked by a small child who runs to her mommy with her prize--you, bringing a moment of happiness to both child and parent. If Einstein is right, then you belong to the universe. I like to choose one star out of the night sky and say hello to you. Sure, I know it’s really just a ball of burning hydrogen, but it makes me feel good to think that your essence, your love and all those memories, still exist in that bright spot in the sky.

Miss you, Dad.
I didn’t always think of you with such admiration. Your leather belt scared the hell out of me as a child. Discipline was swift and simple. You taught me right from wrong. And, I hated it when you and mom argued. It made me feel insecure. Even when I left for Vietnam in my late teens, you tried to hug me, but I pushed you away in my youthful anger. Guess I was still too young to appreciate you for the lessons that molded a man from a boy.

Before my twentieth birthday, something extraordinary happened. You changed. Wisdom filled your voice when I called you from the USO in Vietnam to share my fears. You said I'd be okay. Do you remember that three AM phone call? You told me you had great confidence in me, as a man, and that you would stand by me no matter what happened in Nam. Your strength, and your confidence in me, carried me through some tough times. I found strength knowing that you respected and trusted me. Then, I realized, you didn’t change a bit. I did . . . thanks to you.

I tried to apologize when I got home, for my stupid behavior before I left for Nam. You rebuffed my effort, saying no regrets were called for. Turns out, you had similar angst when you were young, and it took you many years to grow up, too. You always knew the man I would become, because I am just like you. You saw my potential, instead of my failings, and you made me the man I am today.

Thanks, Dad.


  1. Replies
    1. It's amazing how much "they" learn in twenty to twenty-five

  2. Relations were never quite this harsh between me and my Dad but when he passed on, I lost my best friend. One thought often guides me: What would he do? another one has recently crossed my mind: Many dads are known for some negative behaviors, but I recall few in mine. Not that he was a saint. But he worked to do better, and I don't know how you could ask more (or less) of anyone.

    1. I think your statement, "...when he passed on, I lost my best friend" is the finest tribute a son can give to a father. I'm glad you enjoyed such a relationship. Thank you for your comment...Dean.

  3. Very touching. Hope you had a good Father's Day.

    1. I had a wonderful Father's Day, Cher, thanks to lessons I learned from my dad. He's gone, yet still lives through me and my children. Thank you for your comment...Dean


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