|Oakland Cemetery, Springfield, Vermont|
There are quite a few folks there that I know.
One in particular, whose memory I honor every day.
For you see, my Dad is buried there.
He was a good man, served his country, worked hard for most of his life.
When I retired from the Air Force, after 24 years away from my home and my parents, Dad decided that he was retired too. He wanted to spend some time with us while I looked for work and we lived (once again) under my parents roof.
I got to know my Dad better. I had been out in the world and had done a lot of growing up. When I left home at 22, I still thought I knew everything.
Well, guess what? I knew very little. But as life went on, things my Dad had told me seemed to make more and more sense. (Well, a lot of Mom's advice was mixed in there too, my parents made a great team.)
Six years ago, living in a hotel, away from my family, I got to spend time with my Dad, even if it was just on the phone.
I remember quite a few nights, talking to him up there in New Hampshire, listening to him tell me to hang in there. Talking me through the landing so to speak, in those early days of what turned into two and a half years on the road.
Then there was the conversation about his recent hospital visit. Things weren't too good, Dad was in a lot of pain.
I forgot all about my trivial concerns.
I didn't know it at the time, but it was the last time I spoke to my Dad in this life.
The last thing I said to him?
"I love you Dad, hope you feel better."
His last words to me?
"Thanks son, I love you too. Bye now."
On a Sunday, six years ago today, also a Sunday, I got the call from my Mom. I needed to go up to the hospital. To see my Dad.
One last time.
I miss you Dad. The tears still flow from time to time when I think of you. But there are smiles too. Your grandchildren still repeat your little catchphrases from time to time.
"Oh God, yes..."
You were something, you will never be forgotten.
I miss you Dad.
I love you Dad.
|Perhaps my favorite picture of my father.|
|"His" cat Skooter is buried with Dad. That beloved feline predeceased my Dad by a couple of years.|
I miss both of them.