Friday, May 26, 2006

This Time Of Year...

Inevitably, May is a strange month for me every year. May is when Summer really starts in Texas, Mother's Day is celebrated, school ends for my sons and it's the anniversary of my Dad's birth (05-25-41) and death (05-20-97).

The only thing that kind of troubles me each year is that I don't really notice the dates until it's almost (or past) the anniversary of his birthday. It's certainly not that I don't care. I care a great deal. It just seems to sneak up on me...and I feel bad that it gets to that point.

I visited my Dad's grave about a month ago with my Mom. I don't mind visiting it, don't mind remembering. I have a lot of good memories of my Dad. When I was a boy, he taught me how to play basketball, football and baseball. And though it was trying at times, he helped me with my homework.

When I was 12 and had to have very serious surgery, he helped me to understand what was going to happen and reassured me that everything would be okay. He helped me every day during my recovery and felt so guilty at the suffering I went through during my hospital stay that it troubled him the rest of his life. He told me that on his deathbed. I had to reassure him it was something I had long gotten over and he didn't have to live with that guilt anymore. He was just that sensitive and caring a Dad. He would have taken those pains for me if he could have.

To prepare for "real life," Dad helped me to get my first bank account, then he taught me how to save money to get my first bass guitar and amplifier. He encouraged me to get a job and save for a high school journalism trip to New York City when I was only 17 (and I did!). He taught me how to drive (at the expense of his nerves) and taught me how to cook.

Even more importantly, he taught me how a man will work and sacrifice as necessary to provide for his family. Dad was a good example of how to be a caring father and faithful husband and provider for our family.

Occasionally, I will have a dream with Dad in it, at least once or twice a year. It's always been pleasant dreams, never nightmares (thankfully). Dad is always how I remember him: healthy and at his best, physically, the way he looked before the cancer so damaged his body. I guess that's normal. He almost always appears with Mom, too. Maybe that's my subconscious registering the depth of their love, I don't know...

Father's Day is coming up in June. I'm extremely proud to be a dad to two wonderful sons (they call me Papa). I know I owe a lot of my enthusiasm for my boys to the love my Dad had for me.

I do miss my Dad from time to time. I think about him and remember different things we did together or went through together. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could see him again. That's probably what leads to my dreams.

But I have become something of a realist in these last couple of years. I know life goes on. I'm not distraught that Dad died. I had my opportunity to get to know him, to be his friend as well as his son. I got the chance to heal any old wounds between us and I got to say goodbye.

I couldn't ask for much more than that.

Best Wishes,


Aurura said...

That is just beautiful. A wonderful tribute to your Dad. Thank you for posting this. ;8^)


Morenita said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. It's beautiful.