Saturday, October 20, 2007

Missing My Pop

Today, I'm going to share some memories of my Dad.

Missing my Dad happens at odd times. My family always has him in mind, but we tend to talk about him most on those expected days - his birthday, or mine, the holidays, the day he died, etc. But my greatest moments of remembrance come when I least expect it.

At first, it was quite often. He died in March of 2003 - at the age of 77 - of complications from lung cancer. Goddamn cigarettes. I hate them and the tobacco companies that never admitted that nicotine was an addictive substance. He was a wonderful father to me - a flawed man, to be sure, but a man who put his family above everything and, I think, paid for most of his sins while he was still on this earth.

A few weeks after he died I turned a corner at the grocery store and saw an elderly man - you know the retirees who get second jobs there? - handing out samples of some kind of snack. He had on a baseball cap and he just gave me the sweetest smile and I lost it. Completely lost it. Sobs and gulps and everything. Luckily my husband was with me - quite unusual for us to be shopping together, but fortunate for me that he sent me to the car while he checked out our cart. I spent a good 20 minutes in the car sobbing my eyes out, but was pretty much ok by the time he got out to me.

Today, I watched an old musical on tv...the Music Man with Robert Preston. We took my parents and my in-laws to Broadway to see this musical several years ago and I remember how much my Dad enjoyed it. He always seemed to be just as happy sitting at home on the couch with us, but that day he really glowed and stood with the rest of us giving a standing ovation at the end and in the car ride home he just kept saying, "That was great...just great..."

Music always brought something out of my Dad. Whether it was singing old british bar ditties with his brothers after a few too many pints, or especially things like school concerts, or church choirs, he was always so moved by them. I have a dear family friend who had professional operatic training and sang at my wedding. She also sings every year at the Christmas Eve service at a local Methodist church I attended as a child. She sings O Holy Night and leads the congregation in the candlelight singing of Silent Night. Every year I gulp my way through it as her voice reverberates off the rafters. It moves me just because it is beautiful. And it moves me because I remember my father also gulping. And at the end, he always said, "That was great...just great..."

Me, Mom, Dad, and Hubby at Yankees Game - Cap Day!

So today is one of those days. I'm thinking of him an awful lot and I'm missing him. I wish he was sitting with me on the couch laughing at Robert Preston's Music Man. At the end of the movie, in my heart, I heard his voice though, saying "That was great...just great..."


Jude said...

Yeah...I know about those mouments...I have them often. sometimes for the same reasons, but more for the reason I really never knew the man I loved so much...Please keep talking about him so I can learn everything about the many parts I missed...I love you for being my memory.

Stephanie said...

Loved this post...

Thanks for sharing him.