I found a card recently, one given to me by my father on the occasion of my 21st birthday. My eyes welled up, seeing his rounded, left-handed penmanship. Each stroke was very deliberate, much like a child’s early writing. He passed away just a few months later and though he died young, I am ever grateful to have had him see me to the threshold of adulthood.
I often think of him and wonder what his take would be on the issues of today. He was smart, politically astute and I believe he would have relished mightily the nomination of the good Senator from Illinois. He enjoyed a lively debate, whether engaging in or listening to. He was a regular viewer of Meet The Press and would have been saddened by the passing of Tim Russert.
I wonder if perhaps, our musical tastes would have become more closely aligned. I think the only song we both knew the lyrics to was the Marine’s Hymn. A former Marine, my pops had taught it to my sister and me when we were quite young. I remember it still, the melody and at least the first verse, “From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli…” I think now, though, he would love Rosa Passos as much as I do.
I wonder if my somewhat Bohemian existence would unnerve him–would he “get” my freelance lifestyle or wish I’d gone to Law school? He’d been quite amused by my adolescent penchant for having boyfriends past, present and potential in the same room–Hey, can’t we all just get along? Could the same be said for husbands? What would he think of my adult romantic entanglements? My predilection for Trappist ales? Would he be an Internet junkie? Would we find ourselves swapping clips from the sublime-to-the-ridiculous world of You Tube?
I wonder if the black curls I’d washed in our ritual shampoo bonding time would have gone completely white or perhaps a silvery grey? Would he have developed a paunch or maintained his slight frame? I wonder if the staccato cadence of his laughter would have aged into a rasp. Just when the sound of his voice had all but faded from memory, I spoke to his only living brother, my handsome Uncle Billy, in whose measured speech that hints of Southern roots, I heard my dear departed Dad.