My father only cried once. And that was just a reddening of the eyes and a single tear. It happened while he was in the throes of dementia -- lucid one moment, gone the next. It happened after my brother died during a kidney transplant. It happened because the family at large -- and my dad's own doctor -- thought he had the right to know that his son had died. It happened against my better judgement. But I told him anyway. And I regret that decision. Especially at this time of year.
So I remember the man with the huge hands who stroked my hair (and, on at least one occasion, whispered that I was the best thing that ever happened to him) when he thought I was asleep.
I remember the man who went to work and did the laundry and cooked the meals and cleaned the house when my mother was sick. And she was often sick, for months, years, at a time. Sick with depression... and the aftermath of shock treatments and a smorgasbord of drugs.
I remember the man who taught me to pitch a knuckle ball.
I remember the man who planted a peach tree in the garden, who brewed his own beer, fixed the stuff that broke, taught me to drive, carried my injured brother up a hill and into the hospital (with, as we later found out, two crushed discs in his fifty-year-old back).
I remember my dad all the time. And tonight, I wish I had one more opportunity to buy him a beer. Or give him something I made in school. For Fathers' Day.
8 months ago