|2/8/2014 3:38:00 PM|
Things I asked my dad, and now can't
It's funny how this thing called life works, isn't it? One day you're young and in school, the next you're getting married. Soon there are kids. When they're in school you look at them and wonder how that could be? Weren't you just there yourself?
Was it 20 minutes or 20 years?
There are birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, celebrations, smiles, laughter and a few tears. One day, the people who started it all, your parents, are gone. Was it 20 minutes or 20 years?
I have no answers, no deep intellectual insights into the process. Like anyone, I have memories.
When I was 4, I asked my dad if it hurt the fish when we caught it? He said he didn't know but that fishing was OK so long as you had good reasons for doing it.
When I was 5 I asked my dad if he and mom would be there when I got home from that first day of school? He smiled and said that they'd be waiting to hear all about it.
When I was 10 I asked my dad if I could have a drink of the stuff he and Grandpa had? He said no.
When I was 12 I asked him if he thought I would make the cut on the basketball team? He said if I worked hard enough at it I would.
When I was 15 I asked him if I could have a car soon? He didn't think very long before saying no.
When I was 16 I asked him again. Same answer.
When I was 17 he taught me a valuable lesson by working out payments so I could buy my own.
When I was 18 he told me that college was an opportunity and that I should work very hard not to waste it.
When I was 21 he told me I could have that drink now. Then he and mom bought me my first legal beer.
When I was 25 he told me if I loved her enough to spend the rest of my life with her then I should let her know.
When I was 28 I asked my dad how to be a good father? He said to just do my best and to always care. He said that when I didn't know the right answer, to pray for guidance.
When I was 35 I asked my dad about a career choice I had to make. He said to work hard, keep in mind the desired outcome and make it work.
When I was 45 I told my dad that his son was a published author. He didn't say anything but the look on his face said it all.
When I was 50, I asked my dad at what age fathers finally stop worrying about their kids. My 70-year-old father didn't hesitate. He said he didn't know.
My dad passed away a little more than a week ago. There won't be any more questions. The answers have stopped coming. It is this thing we call life. Babies are born. People die. Was it 20 minutes or 20 years? Half an hour or half a century? All I know is that I will treasure the advice I got and try to be the man and the father he and my mother raised. And I will remember.
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