Saturday, March 6, 2010

Father to Son


"Father to son, I for one would take love slower.
I've made my choice.  You can sing a different song.
Watch, as you sing, how your voice gets much lower.
You'll be, kid, a man, kid, whatever the song.
Sing for yourself as we march along."
William Finn

DAY 148:  I just realized that my father would have been 73 today (that's he and my Mom in the picture above).  He passed away in 1985 from congestive heart failure at the age of 48.  I was only 24 at the time and had JUST started teaching my first year at the newly-opened Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (though it was actually my second year of teaching).

I never really "connected" with my father.  My brother was always much closer to him.  We didn't have a "bad" relationship, it was just rather distant.  Most of my family, including my Mom and brother, would probably tell you it's because we were SO much alike, and I think I've gotten MUCH more like Dad as I've grown older.  I often regret that my Dad never got the opportunity to know the man that I've become ... I'd like to think he'd be very proud.  There were things he never knew about me (one rather significant one, in fact), and I've often asked my Mom how she thinks he would've reacted.  I believe that she's right when she tells me he would have been supportive no matter what.

I'm grateful for my Dad for two reasons ... one, he had a hand in creating the kind, generous, loving, sensitive, intelligent, competent, productive, accomplished, and respected man that I am today.  And he and my Mom did a great job with my brother, too.  Second, his death always serves as a reminder to me that I need to watch my health VERY carefully.  I inherited a number of his health issues (including heart problems) and, though I've now outlived him by a year and I have access to medical care and medications that he did not have, I know I must do my best to eat properly and exercise.  I want to live a long full life and not leave this world at such a young age.  I've let my diet and exercise slide over the past year or so ... and theatre can be an EXCELLENT excuse.  But it IS an excuse and I need to get back on the program. 

Thanks, Dad, for the reminder ... and Happy Birthday.  Love, Your Son.

3 comments:

  1. Everywhere we went he seemed to know someone, and that someone always smiled when they saw him. He counted people of all races and creeds as his friends. He, like our immigrant mother, always taught us to accept people as they are. Why then would he have not accepted his own son for who he was?

    I cherish the time I spent with him. He was, when he was among us, my best friend. I think my "closeness" to him was simply a matter of timing. I grew up during a time when he was slowing down and seemed to have more time at home.

    Always remember though, he was an academic, and in that realm you were the apple of his eye. I know my lack of success in school really frustrated him. I simply wish he could have lived long enough to see me finally realize the importance of education.

    I am sure he would have been proud, as I know Mom is, if he would have had the chance to say - both my sons are teachers.

    LL

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