My Dad passed away a month ago at the young age of 88. He became a self-made man after having it rough growing up. He was the glue that held our small family together, and I realize that now. His passing has left a great big hole in the lives of my mom, brother, and me.
My Dad and Mom
My Dad was my mom’s whole life, especially towards the end. Fiercely private, they did not share with me how bad things were these last couple of years. Mom even admitted she did not know how bad it was. Growing up, spending time with dad consisted of sitting in the back of the car on weekends driving around looking at job sites on the way to dinner. Once I married I immediately moved thousands of miles away. Due to many circumstances, visiting my dad and mom often was not in the cards. I suppose it was better this way because now I have the memories of my dad that I want to have and not the ones that will remind me of the former shell of a man that he was at the end of his life.
My Dad gave my brother opportunities that he might not have otherwise had. School was difficult for my brother. College was not in the cards, but having a ready-made career as an electrician gave him (and his wife) a life he might not otherwise have had. My brother and I both made choices in life that can’t be undone. Those choices affected both of our lives. He married right after high school and I was left to my own devices. I was jealous of him and I am sure he was jealous of me.
My Dad and I had a different kind of relationship. I admired my dad growing up. He was my hero. My Dad put me through school, bailed me out of financial ruin, and bought me a car. He watched my fashion shows, went to my dance recitals, taught me how to drive, and quietly showed me how to live a good life through his actions and deeds. The kind of life I could be proud of. I hope that wherever he is right now, looking down on me, he is proud of the person that I have become.
My dad was…no…is a great man. I will always love him.