Vaya con Dios, Old Man
The news came as no surprise. He hadn't even entered my thoughts for years - and then over the last 10 days he had been on my mind almost constantly. I had been thinking about how his death would affect me. I had been thinking - are there positives handed to me from HIM that I would pass to my own girlies? Any positives at all? After ruminating for many days the phone call came from 2,000 miles away - he is on his death bed. The first I had heard of him for a long, long time.
There are lots of negatives with him - lots! I spent a long time concentrating on the negatives years back. How could I not? The family lies in various states of ruin around him. We have each struggled to build some semblance of good with different degrees of success - yet all of us bear the weight of the injury.
Now the time has come to try to extract the positives. I feel that this must be done. I do not know why. It's something that defies understanding and logic. Maybe it's my Catholic brainwashing that says I must honor my mother and my father. I read recently that Jewish people believe that what is said about a person after they die determines how they will spend eternity. (or something like that) I don't wish for the old man to go to hell and misery. I don't wish for the old man to die in pain as he is doing right now.
Like it or not - there is a connection there that cannot be denied. There were a few good moments amidst the bad and that cannot be denied either. He is the smartest man that I have ever met. It is now time to concentrate on the good. I must do this thing - honesty demands it.
All of these good things were taught by his example, by things he did or didn't do. These good things will be passed on to my cherished little ones.
2. Respect for veterans
3. Blood and Guts secured our freedom
4. A love of history
5. Rocks - interest in geology
7. The feeblest attempt to reach out means the world - especially to your children.
8. Vulnerability = Strength
9. Spend money wisely
I have to believe that there is some possibility of redemption, even for the worst of us.
UPDATE My father died at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time on Wednesday February 9th. That was really fast and I'm glad he didn't hang around in pain too long. I hope your spirit is healed and flying.