Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, June 19, 2017

knowing the man

 Yesterday was Fathers day. I saw the photographs and read the words of endearment posted on Facebook. I'm a bit of a sentimental person myself so that stuff always hits home. Naturally I  spent some time thinking of my own Dad. He left this earth in February of 1990. Hard to believe it has been twenty seven years. I think that has something to do with the fact that I speak with him every day. Or, it could be that he is speaking through me, maybe that is how the afterlife works. Whatever the case, I hear him all the time and it is a comfort.
 I was fortunate to have a wonderful Dad. Hard working and caring. Of course we have to remember that I was born back in '53 and times were just a bit different. He was a product of the times, as we all are, and reflected the attitude and thinking of the times. Children were to be seen and not heard. There was much that was not talked about in front of the children. I'm quite certain he would be taken aback if he heard the conversation now ! I'm also quite certain he would have an opinion on that. I think that is were I get my opinions from. Dad was never hesitant to tell you what he thought. And he usually told you in a nonchalant, matter of fact kinda way. It just rolled outta him.
 Growing up I didn't spend a great deal of time with him. He wasn't the type of Dad to play games and such. If he wasn't working, he was working on something. You know what I mean. Recreation to him was building or fixing something. That is how he spent his " free " time. You didn't bother him when he was doing that either. Now, he would show you how to do something but he only showed you once. After that you had better get it right. He did expect a lot from you. I don't think he expected anything more from you than he expected from himself though. Therein lies the problem with him. The man knew how to do just about everything. A true jack of all trades it was a lot to live up to. He really did expect others to know what he knew and have the ability to do it. That was very true in the " working " world that he lived in. Academic pursuits he wasn't very impressed with. Oh he was proud of you when you got good grades or his friends complimented him on how smart his kids were, you know how folks do, but he preferred the manual labor skills over anything else.
 As I mentioned earlier Dad passed in 1990. I was in the Navy then, had been for almost nine years. I had left home when I was 18 and hadn't been back. Traveling around like I did I didn't get to spend much time with him. And that is my biggest sorrow I think. I never got to know Dad as another man. I only knew him as a father. I often think about that and wonder. Oh, I've heard many tales of him from his friends. Stories from his youth and tales of his exploits. I even know fragments of stories from when I was young. Remember I told you much wasn't talked about when I was a kid. There are still secrets from that time I don't know the whole truth of. What was he really like as a man ? But then I think the question really is, would he have been a friend ? The answer is, yes, I believe he would have. We did have a lot in common, although we often disagreed on current events. Well you know how "old " people are. I was just a teenager back then and knew it all. Thankfully over the years I have been dummied down by my own children and now grandchildren !
 There are other times when I think it was a blessing that I didn't know him as another man. In my mind he will be forever Dad. Dad, with all that image entails is a comforting thought. When I remember him I remember him full of life, vital and energetic. I see a man among men. There are times when I remember seeing him in the hospital, right before the end. His body was frail but those eyes still had spark. Most importantly to me he still had that firm handshake. That was Dad's way. If he wanted to express " affection " to another man it was with a firm handshake and a look straight into your eyes. It was with that I said, goodbye. So maybe, it is better that I didn't know him otherwise. That is the way he left me as well. I'm thinking I did know the man after all. So until I shake his hand in greeting once again, and I'm certain I will, I'll just hold onto the memories.