Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father's Day Feeling

I've written before that I tend to forget Father's Day.  I remember Mother's Day but I forget Father's Day.  I guess it's because I don't have any children of my own although I did receive the nicest complement yesterday from straight out of the blue.  I'll get to that in a bit.  Maybe I don't remember Father's Day because my own father passed away so long ago.  By the way, Buck is the tall man with the glasses standing on the right.  I don't recall the other men.  Maybe I knew them at one time.  Just like I knew my father at one time.  Anyway, all the men in the picture are armed with little trophies. They must have won the company golf tournament or something.  Buck was a pretty good golfer.  I'm sure he would have been amused when I took up the goddamn game in my forties.

Maybe I don't remember Father's Day because I am pretty impervious to advertising.  Which is an odd statement from one who spends a good bit of his week sussing out deceptive claims in advertising.  I guess I just don't pay attention when I'm not on the clock.

A kid at Catholic High asked me how long I had been on my own.  I told him that I had been on my own ever since my father dropped dead when I was 21.  At least it felt that way.  That was 36 years ago.

So no, Father's Day isn't much on my emotional radar screen.  It's a good day to buy sporting goods and not much else.  Oh, I congratulate my friends and brothers.  But I never see the day coming anymore.

It hit me about the middle of last week while I was getting my hair cut.

"Damn, Bobby," I said to the image in the mirror.  "Sunday's Father's Day.  I completely forgot."

My friends Steve and Ann and I have been trying to get together for sometime.  She told me to pick a day.  Guess which day I picked?

"Gee Bob," I said.  "I need to change some plans.  I accidentally horned in on Father's Day.  Again, I completely forgot.  But then again, I haven't had a father in so long..."

Bob Hilliard has cut my hair since I came back from Tulane.  He knows me pretty well.

"Stop," he said as he undid the cloak.  "You have a father.  He's just not with us anymore.  My dad and your dad are both dead.  But we both have fathers."

True enough.  Interesting perspective.

I sent Steve a text when I returned home.

" It just occurred to me that Sunday is Father's Day.  I certainly don't wish to intrude."

Here's the response: "No intrusion.  Come be part of the family."

It will be my privilege to do so.

Now the compliment.  Earlier yesterday Dennis, who is one of my trainers, checked in on me.  He had tried to kill me Thursday morning and he wanted to know how I was faring.  Even by Saturday I felt like I had been hit by a cement truck.  So, it wouldn't do to share my response in this, a family blog.  But I did man up and wish the architect of my misery a happy Father's Day.

"Same to you my friend," the response said. "Same to you."


"Yes you are a father to all those who you willingly mentor."

Damn.  I teared up.

If anybody has said anything nicer to me recently I sure don't remember it.  Such a kindness.  And from a man that could knock you into next Tuesday. These things always astound me.

I'm honored to be part of a big Catholic family's Father Day celebration tonight.  I have a little bottle of something for the man of the hour.  I've got a little something for my Godson who turned 13 last Friday.

And this year, I even got something for me.  From my buddy Big Dennis.  And just like most Father's Days I didn't see it coming.

Happy Father's Day.

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