The words I wrote for his funeral card:Happy Father's Day, all you Dads out there!
From a journal entry...
In your every deed,
Husband, father, friend,
Thank you for teaching us,
The true meaning of the word
The true spirit of the word
The true power of the word
| March 21, 2006 |
Yesterday, I did my yoga stretches in a different room. Don't ask me why 'cause I have no clue what possessed me to vary my routine. Anyway, I was on the floor in front of the recliner where I typically sit while writing. It's a second hand La-Z-Boy that I inherited when my mother redecorated her living room several years ago. It was my dad's chair, and if I stare at it for a minute & then close my eyes, I can still see him sitting in it -- like the visual echo of a camera's flash.
From my vantage on the floor, I caught sight of something under the chair -- a piece of paper. I knew what it was before I wormed my hand through the skirting to fetch it, but I was surprised by the force with which the memories flooded my mind. It was a football parlay -- dad's favorite illicit pastime.
December 15, 1996. His choices were circled and the margins bore random notes in his hand. New England (given 7) over Dallas. Detroit (given 11) over Green Bay. Minnesota (by 7) over Tampa Bay.
It's been almost seven years since he died, and I miss him today as much as ever. The man defined the word "generous." In fact, those football parlays were the only thing I can recall him doing solely for his own enjoyment. I'll save my memento. Later this morning, I'll pull that box from the top of my closet and I'll add one tattered piece of white paper to his favorite ball cap, pocket knife, and chambray shirt -- and I'll cry.