Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Dad

I don't talk about my dad much. He died 24 years ago today. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was in the Tulsa Memorial Day flood in 1984. He got an infection in his lungs from being in the water, suffered a severe stroke and died 6 months later. We buried him on Veterans Day. He served in the Navy, WW 11 and the Korean War, so he received Military Honors at the funeral. They handed my oldest Michael who was 7 at the time and who adored his papa Jack, the flag from his coffin. It broke my heart.
My dad was a complex person. It is sad to say but I really don't know a whole lot about my dads life growing up. I never knew his mom, but I do remember my grandpa Joe. He died when I was 9 or 10. I adored him. I can still remember him coming to visit from Idaho. He would say "come on sissy, lets go to the drug store and get a cherry coke." We would walk hand in hand just talking. He always wore a hat a tweed sports coat and smelled of old spice. Like I said my dad was complex and he had issues, but deep down he was a good guy and he loved us. I am sure if I knew his story growing up it would probably answer many questions I have about him. I know I got my love of quotes from him. He was always quoting something.
I think deep down he was a very sad person just trying to cope and make it in this world. I went to the cemetery today to visit his grave. It had been almost a year since I had been there and it showed. So I cleaned up his tombstone so it would look nice for when they put the flag on it Veteran Day, talked to him, told him I was sorry I had neglected his grave, told him I loved him and promised to do a better job. I caught him up on the grand kids he never knew and his great grand kids. I placed a kiss on his tombstone and left to go visit my moms grave.

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