Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 300th Blog: Dedicated to My Dad

When I was younger, my dad would often regale me with his "wit" by saying such things as:

Dad: How tall are you again?

Me: 5' 8". Why?

My Dad: I didn't know they stacked shit THAT high.


or

Me: Are we going to breakfast?

My Dad: Who's "we?" You got a mouse in your pocket?


When he died, it was those moments, the stupid throwaway ones, that stuck with me the most.

***

It's odd to think about missing him, seeing as he died almost twenty years ago now. He is more of an idea than a person. "My dad" is something I often don't say...but more of a phrase I contemplate about. I mean, I don't have much of a reason to ever say the two words together. Painful to think about, but it's true.

I do see him. In my mind. Always the fashion guru, he would pull his socks up too high, almost to his knees. His short shorts, and thick and smudged glasses awaited my playful eye rolls, and I remember how his stomach felt when I would try to hug him. Bulging and curving in a too-tight, horizontally-lined shirt, his belly was an obstacle to be reckoned with when I would stretch and stretch my arms around him to complete an incompletable hug.

I remember him as being the smartest person I knew...but I'll never know if that's true. I don't know what's real and what my mind has made up. Crazy to think that I have created in my mind the person that actually created me. There were lessons and methods and real parenting going on, that I know for sure. He made me feel looked after. And safe. And a bit lost when he left. I still feel that way today.

***

I know there are some who believe he is with me. He was there. He was there. Maybe he is. Maybe he was. I don't know. If ever a soul lived on...why not his?

There is much I want to ask him...but life isn't fair. I'm ok with that. But it's the moments...those throwaway moments...that I've missed. The ones I didn't create. The ones that I know in my heart to be true:

My Dad: You should probably have a point.

Me: So?

My Dad: So? So what? Sew buttons?


So, maybe there isn't always a so what. Maybe there isn't always a truth. Maybe there are just moments in my mind and in yours. Floating from time to time. And we try to reach them. Catch them. But we can't.

Sometimes, you just can't complete your hug. No matter how hard you try. It's just a moment. And you will never throw that moment away.

10 comments:

Jeff said...

My own father died when I was 14. We weren't really close. But, from my own experience, I almost wonder if the best cure for grief of a deceased father might be the birth of a son.

Congrats on 300, dude. You are my favorite not famous writer. The only reason I don't read your blog more is I would start to steal your jokes. :)

Michelle Panik said...

You need an "absolutely-sublime-and-awesome-post-twinged-with-a-bit-of-humor" radial button for this post.

Manasse said...

You both are WAY too kind.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely a blog from your heart! Sharing such personal feelings with friends isn't easy. You have a way with words, Mark, and your humor and sensitivity will make you the famous writer you deserve to be.

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Man,your humor and sensitivity will make you the famous writer you deserve to be.

Manasse said...

Hurray! A new type of spam...or, it's true, Germans LOVE Mark Manasse.

jabs1960 said...

Hi there...extremely well written! My own Dad has dementia ( four yrs now ), and I find myself missing him, almost like he has already died, although he is still here. I now mind him like he is my own child. Life can certainly throw some wicked curve balls at you. You just gotta keep your eye on that ball, and drive it outta the park. This game has gone into extra innings. Thanks for this post, and indeed, your blog, on a whole.

Manasse said...

Thanks! I try to keep my blog a little lighter...but it was a special occasion.

I hope your dad is doing as well as possible.

true religion jeans said...

Hope that my father's body get well soon