August 28, 2007
Originally published June 16, 2002
Today is Father's Day.
My father died at 7:00 in the morning on October 12, 1992. I was there when it happened, and my brother and I made the funeral arrangements later that morning. I managed to get through the visitation and the burial service without breaking down into a blubbering fool, but that was a rough ride. My father was the most influencial person in my life, and almost ten years later I still think about him every day and sometimes dream about him at night.
He gave me a strong work ethic and he taught me to love reading. He tried to interest me in carpentry, woodworking, plumbing, bricklaying and other mechanical skills he possessed, but none of that stuff ever really inspired me. Those things never took with my brother, either. I can do a half-assed job of most of those things if I really concentrate, but I would rather not. My brother doesn't even try.
My father built model ships, with all the intricate parts and delicately threaded rigging, and I wanted to run screaming from the room when I saw the patience and concentration he put into that work. He was that way about a lot of things. As for me, even with a meticulous, detail-oriented father, I ended up with the attention span of a sand gnat.
I look more like my Mama than I do him, but I have his eyes, and I passed them on to my son. One of my biggest regrets is that my son never met his grandfather. Dad died one year and two months before Quinton was born. That young man will never know what he missed. My Dad would have doted on my son to the point of obnoxiousness, which is a good thing for grandfathers to do. I wish he could have known my boy and given him some of the things he gave to me
My Dad and I didn't always get along ("too much alike," according to Mom) and we had some real head-butting contests, especially during my disgusting teenage years. But I always respected him. He earned that by the way he lived his life, as a hard worker, a good husband, a fine father and one hell of a man.
Happy Father's Day, Pop!
I was hoping to see my son today. I don't believe that's going to happen. I've called several times since Friday, but all I get is the answering machine, and none of my messages have been returned. The ex is off somewhere with my son and her lover.
Happy Father's Day to me, too.
All content © Rob Smith