Sunday, June 15, 2008
This morning I was channel surfing and most of the news shows were having specials on the passing of Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert. Most of the shows had a panel of guests telling work and personal stories. One network, MSNBC, re-broadcast a show of Tom Brokaw interviewing Russert about his book, "The Wisdom of our Fathers". It was a fascinating hour which brought to mind memories of my dad.
I remember the day my dad passed away and thinking I would never talk to him again, or hear his advice. I did not realize at the time that a relationship goes on long after someone is dead, and it continues to evolve. Especially with our parental realtionships. He is still there behind my ear with his approval and disapproval and advice. At night when I am alone smoking a cigar he is there in my thoughts. I see him smoking his own cigar. It is a wonderful calm ritual that will always play out that way for me.
I was fortunate to have a good man as a dad who was there for me when I needed him. Still our relationship was like most father and sons. Each of us could anger the other like no one else. A few hours before he died we were together in the hospital and I bent over and told him I love him and he said the same to me. We had said it before, but I was now that age where you didn't express it out loud. I am forever grateful for that moment. One of the commandments is to honor your parents. It does not say you have to love them. There is a wisdom at work that understands a parent child relationship is perhaps the most difficult and that love is sometimes not there or what it should be, but you must honor them. I was lucky and I loved my Dad and I work to honor him now by trying to live up to his standard. Happy Father's Day Dad.