I know I am a day late with this post, but even though it has been five years since this man physically left my life, I find it very, very hard to speak about him without tears. So here it goes......
My dad was a paradox. While to most who met him he appeared rough around the edges and underneath lied a shrewd intellect. Most of all, in his later years he was a kind man. His family was the most important gift he had been given and he cherished it.
My eldest had only two years to spend with her grampa, she keeps a picture of him under her pillow. Each time a plane crosses the sky she will say that he is flying by to check on her. She was his rosebud. Watching him become a grampa was an endearing process for me. The hard-nosed disciplinarian was a pile of jello under the thumb of his granddaughter. He would get in as much trouble as she when they were together. Usually he would be the instigator.
On his birthday he was presented with a card with two little black and white pictures and a riddle. I giggled furiously inside as I watched my mom and dad try to figure out the riddle. The realization that two more grandbabies were coming was a crazy moment for them. The anticipation of the arrival of the twins was almost more than he could stand. At that time I did not know what I was having, just that double the trouble was coming and grampa better hold onto his hat.
In an unfortunate turn of events just mere months before the arrival of the twins he was gone. The little kids did not get a chance to meet the man my Em had grown to love. I did not get the chance to watch my father become a grampa all over again. The hole in our lives is ever present but the memories have not faded. I still hear his voice in my head, the laughter preceding his mischief, the smile that took over his whole face. The little kids always ask me questions about grampa. I tell them he would love them to the moon and back again. I miss him terribly and when I look at my brother I see my dad as a young man. My dad may be gone but he will never be forgotten.
The picture you see was captured by accident. I had not realized this picture would tell everything about my dad in one expression. At least that is what this picture is to me. All the triumph, loss, happiness, and sadness of his life wrinkled in his face. I see something different each time I see this picture. I find a new strength for me in each line on his face and know in my heart I can survive, just like him.
Happy day to all my father friends.
Follow your inner moonlight, don't hide the madness. ~ A. Ginsberg