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Happy Father's Day, Daddio - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Happy Father's Day, Daddio
steve My dad passed away a little over fourteen months ago unexpectedly, surrounded by the violence of a crash cart as Joe and I watched outside the hospital room’s window. All of the questions of surrounding his last days at his hovel with Sheila remain in place, and I’ve stopped asking myself how, what, or why. I had to. Sheila’s phone is no longer active, but she’d never provide any insight, anyway. Crack addicts don’t tell the truth. They just disappear, I guess.

“Come on, Daddio.” During his visit to DC less than a year before he ended up in the hospital for a routine surgery that went horribly wrong, I called him that. He liked it. I walked five steps ahead of him as we wandered through the Korean Memorial; he lagged behind as he stuffed his pipe readying himself to sit on a nearby bench and puff and ponder the sight of the bronzed soldiers frozen in a stance of tortured combat.

We sat there, the sweet smell of his tobacco filling the air and I watched his face take in the tribute to the war he just missed before he enlisted, and his eyes were wistful as if he wished he were one of those men who felt the impact of battle, real battle, not the kind that he ended up with in his marriages or the drug habit that finally took him down.

I loved my dad, still do. But I’ve always felt that I never really knew him. The box of his things I packed from the squalor of his apartment only told me that he was sentimental enough to keep a wedding photo from each marriage, and a letter that my mother wrote to his estranged dad announcing my birth.

I told my therapist in Maryland that I mourned Bob, the four-legged son of Billy and me, than I did my dad, and that’s true. I knew Bob, and he allowed me to love him. My dad wasn’t as available. His mask of careless happiness blunted any chance of getting to know him, and his absolute refusal to speak truthfully was the moat I could never cross.

The questions remain, but I no longer have the drive to seek their answers. It no longer seems important. My dad lived the life he chose, and that’s probably all I need to know.


11 comments or Leave a comment
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: June 18th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love when you write. I love how you grab my heart wring it a bit and then hand it back.

"real battle, not the kind that he ended up with in his marriages or the drug habit that finally took him down."

I love lines like these, you are amazing.
love to you
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 18th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the glasses.
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 18th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, Karl. I know my dad did the best he could. I just don't think either of my parents were prepared to parent. That's okay, though. It has to be.
quuf From: quuf Date: June 18th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's a face.
mengus From: mengus Date: June 18th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love you forremembering to say Happy Father's day to your dad, despite his tragic life. And damn, that is the most amazing gin blossom nose I have ever seen.
privatesector From: privatesector Date: June 20th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Such honesty. I'm still grappling with father/daughter issues.

notoriousbrb From: notoriousbrb Date: June 27th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Still pissing my way through Augusten. Still convinced that you lived more than he did.

I don't know anyone like you in the world. You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just know there are a million of them, even if you really like them? You don't remind me of anyone, and if I were a brain in a jar and needed to spend an eternity with another brain in my jar, I hope I would get stuck with you.
poodler From: poodler Date: July 11th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just peeking in

I know that you posted this some time ago but I'm catching up on fellow bloggers thoughts. I find it interesting that you have made your peace with your Dad so soon after his passing. It's a good thing that you had that bonding time before the end.

My Dad was similarly distant, but I can't say that I feel any love for him (I suppose I do feel sadness for him). My dad, eleven years after his passing, has come to have no presence in my life (those issues that swirled around us during his life have dissipated).

It's great that you can appreciate that which was good in your Dad. That's a gift.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 12th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Just peeking in

Thanks for the visit. It was hard not to like my dad--everyone liked him.

I've been a very bad journaler lately. Just life and junk get in the way of my LJ time. I miss it, and I'll have to catch up with you.
poodler From: poodler Date: July 12th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bad Journaling

yeah, I'm not keeping up with it much myself. No real loss, it's a nice diversion when the time suits.
shawnsyms From: shawnsyms Date: July 29th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am thinking of you.
11 comments or Leave a comment