Saturday, June 20, 2009
R.I.P. BIG FLICK
My Dad has been gone for one year. My family went to the cemetery. We prayed, we talked, we laughed, we cried, but above all, we missed my Dad. We spent a lot of time telling stories about him, mostly they were funny. I remember that he was really dismayed about me. He tried to keep his temper with me, but I tried him a lot. My mother always says, that if my Dad wasn't a very nice man, I might not be here today. Was that an exaggeration?
My brother looked at me at the cemetery and said "Thanks for breaking Dad in." "I didn't get any of the punishment you got." "I think you wore him out." We all laughed at that. I don't remember getting any punishment I didn't deserve. He taught me a lot of things, some tough, some easy. All of them have stuck.
Mostly, he taught my brothers and I what it was to be a man. A man takes care of his family. A man doesn't worry what comes to him, he only worries about what he gives to his family. A man doesn't want glory, he wants his family to be successful. All of us are. A man does what a man has to do. My Dad worked two and sometimes three jobs to get us a house. The first house he bought cost him $9,500. He bought it with the GI Bill. He bought a brand new car in 1962 for $1,000. It was one of his proudest moments. Everything he ever bought he worked for. That in his eyes was America.
He fought for his country and never thought twice about it. War? That's what Americans did. He always said "I would do it again," because that's what being an American was all about. My grandfather fought and so did he. His brother fought and so did he. End of story.
I can't write here what he taught me because there isn't enough space. If my brothers and I have become anything it is because of my Dad. He is what I have always tried to be. Most of the time I fell short, but I continue to this day to strive to be someone he is proud of. I hope I made it.
This is one of his favorite hymns. He loved it and everytime it played in church he sang the heck out of it. I wonder if he loved it because he saw so much of his life that didn't have peace? I would like to see him together, with my grandfather, grandmother, and my uncle. I think they have a lot to talk about. I would love to hear that conversation.
My Mom is doing fine, although after 56 years, she really misses my Dad. Someday they'll be together again. I think my Dad will say, "What took you so long, Helen?" She'll say "I had to take of some things down here first." My Dad will say "Ah Jeez, redhead, I'm happy you're here."
My brother and I were convinced that Dad is a greeter in Heaven (like WalMart) because he was so friendly and sweet. Although, God probably had to tell him "Charlie, not everyone can get in."