Last Thursday would have been my dad’s 86 birthday. Unfortunately, he passed away at age 59 from heart failure. The funeral was wet and cold, an honor guard played taps and my mother was given a damp folded flag for his service. My kids really don’t remember their granddad, but they see his face every time I show up. He was a good man a good provider. Oh he had his faults, but don’t we all.
As father’s today we are expected to be a little more engaging, or maybe that’s the way they always been and I never noticed. If I were to ask my kids, was I the perfect parent? I’d get laughed out the room. Not that I was horrible at it, but because I raised a house full of smart asses. All father’s start out wanting to be the best dad. Sadly, we’re also human and prone to doing stupid. So the whole process basically is about winging it.
My dad was a fairly easy going, quiet guy. But like I said, he had his demons. A little quick tempered at times, and he could be very verbally abusive, or quick with the belt. We never had too many father/son talks at least not until I had kids of my own. So for a few good years we had something in common. I suppose what I want to say is I miss the man. It’s been 26 years since they folded that flag and every day I understand a little more. About the man, about myself, and what it means to be a dad.