Today (Oct 14th) would have been my Dad’s 61st birthday. He died in 2006. I don’t usually write about super personal stuff, but I felt that this needed to be out there. Alot of people felt that my father was not a good man, and maybe so. But to me, he was sweet. I’ve heard it said that everyone has a soft side, and maybe I was his.
From the stories people have told me about him, he was a very rude, inconsiderate, hurtful person. But I never knew that man. The man I knew was a tender hearted, guitar player, who’d had a hard life, and wanted to be a good father, even if he didn’t know how to be. And he wasn’t always. But I knew he was trying.
He had a stroke when I was 12, and had to live in an assisted living home after that. Sometimes when I visited, he thought I was my mother. It was hard on me. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t visit him as much after that. He was a very, very private person. I don’t really know alot about him. He loved playing guitar and singing, especially Johnny Cash songs. He thought the Beach Boys were better than the Beatles (no way, Dad!). He was an alcoholic, but started going to AA when I was a baby. That’s pretty much it.
By the time that my dad died, his other family wasn’t speaking to him, he didn’t really have any friends, and though he did have another child besides me, they didn’t keep in touch with him. He died alone, and without fanfare. He is buried in a run down cemetery, with a nameless grave marker.
My greatest fear is that he will be forgotten, that he never mattered. And so, maybe by putting this all out there, I can keep his memory alive a bit longer.
Me and my daddy’s guitar pick.