My Dad & Sister

My Dad & Sister

My Dad died yesterday.  We hadn’t spoken in many, many years – maybe twice in the last 20.  When my sister called to tell me he probably wouldn’t make it through the night I told her to tell him that I loved him.  She asked if I would tell him myself, over the phone.

I cried.  I hadn’t cried for my father in decades.

We were two peas in a pod, my father and I.  Always fighting for the spotlight, center of attention, prettiest show pony in the room…  He was tall, with mischievous eyes that danced and sparkled in the company of others.  He was magnetic and charming.  People listened when he spoke.  He was athletic and intelligent.  I marveled at the way he would perch my sister on top of his shoulders and confidantly strut through the wave of parishioners, leaving Sunday mass, with an unlit cigar in his mouth, singing at the top of his lungs.

He was such a character and I was always trying to re-write his story.  I wanted him to love me like that too.  I wanted Ward Clever but I got John F. Kennedy (without all the cash).

I will, and always wanted to, remember my Dad for the nights we stayed up together watching Quincy and Barnaby Jones re-runs, sometimes until the sun came up. He’d always try to solve the crime before I could and never cut me any slack, even though I was eight.  I liked that.

He made me, not with genes but through experience and I wouldn’t be who I am today without his influence.  We all have faults.  I know I do.  And despite my Dad’s he was a magical, unforgettable presence, to so many, and that is who I will always see when I close my eyes…