The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

Happy Father’s Day, God! and Dad!

Father’s day.

This is the day I’m reminded every year what an unworthy schmuck I am.

My kids wished me a happy day as soon as I got up. My son had snuck in and left a home-made card by my bed. What precious kids I have. They love me even though I don’t deserve it. They are my reason for breathing.

The last father’s day my dad was living my wife and I lived up near Dallas. We were busy working people, no kids, two incomes, enjoying the city. Father’s day snuck up on us. I called Dad but I didn’t get a card in the mail, or anything else. Why I didn’t I have no clue. What an ass I was. Later, after Dad was gone, my mom told me how he hurried out to the mailbox every day for a week and was really hurt when nothing came.

That was the last father’s day I had the opportunity to tell my dad how special he was. He was my hero all my life. Before he died I had become his, too. How I betrayed him.

Six months later Dad’s heart quit. The last thing we said to each other was, “I love you.” He knew I loved him and I know he loved me. But I never got to say I was sorry for being a pathetic excuse for a son. I never will get to.

The personality that occupies this body is not the same one that existed back then. I have changed. Now I treat every day as if it will be the last. Every day I work harder to be kinder, more loving, more forgiving, asking nothing of anyone. I ask God for nothing, just say “thank you” a lot, and “I love you!”

Even as I strive I know that time in this physical universe cannot be recalled. My dad’s been gone nine and a half years. I have a collection of his things I call a “shrine” to remind me every day of the man who gave me life, purpose, and his name. I’d give the rest of my life for one more time to say “I love you, Dad.”

My dad didn’t ask for much. He was a simple man. He was never mean, never cruel, always loved me. He was my best friend and, like I said, my hero. If I needed anything he was there. He and I built a house in the woods together. He rode with me when I drove a truck in ’93, refusing to sleep when he needed to so he could see the world outside the windshield. He was everybody’s friend and had no enemies. He was the most curious guy I’ve ever known. A trip to the hardware for a box of screws with him took an hour. He had to see everything. At the grocery we’d have to grab him by his overhaul straps or he’d stand and talk with the cashier for half an hour. He’s so much the man I wish I was.

Dad was not a church going man. He was raised fundamental Baptist in the Arkansas backwoods. He didn’t understand much either about religion or politics. He never talked religion, either. He had faith, though, it was just down deep. He didn’t wear it on his shoulder or go around shoving Bibles up anyone’s nose.

Once during the ’98 elections idiot Republican religious people went around saying one could not be a Christian and vote Democratic. Dad had always been a yellow-dog Democrat. The fools scared him. All the big Christian Right jackasses were saying such. He asked me. I set him straight, that the Republican religious people were idiots and fools and not to listen to them. Jesus gave his life for us, for all of us, I told him. Trust that. Trust Jesus. Nothing else. He accepted my words. Even though he didn’t really understand the political process at all the last public service he did days before he died was to go vote. Democratic, of course!

I could talk all day about my once-best friend who waits for me, probably impatiently, somewhere in that undiscovered country. Sometimes I so want to go on and be with him!

So I say, “Happy Father’s Day to God, my Creator, and I ask something on this day, please tell Dad I love him and miss him and will see him soon!”

I must get ready. My father-in-law is still with us. We’re having lunch with the inlaws. And my kids want to wish their dad a happy day. Visit this link and allow me to share my tribute to my dad with you:

God bless dads everywhere!



June 15, 2008 - Posted by | Blather

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