I wanted to post this a few days ago, but I got lazy. I don’t mind getting personal, sometimes, so here goes.
I spoke at my father’s memorial this weekend – we had a memorial service, not a true funeral. It was on my parents’ anniversary — what would have been 56 years. It was a very cold day, and my dad’s brother and sister were there, as were neighbors and friends. We had a lot of good food, which I think dad would have liked.
I have been listening a lot to one of my favorite albums, Travis’ The Man Who, recently, and that’s a story for another time – but there’s a song called “Slide Show” that has always been a favorite.
“There is a slide show, and it’s so slow
flashing through my mind
Today was the day
but only for the first time.”
Here are some photos that were displayed.
And here’s what I wrote:
When someone passes, especially when it happens suddenly, it can alter your perception. Sometimes, we tuck all our good memories away, and seldom revisit them. When a death happens, though, those memories are unpacked.
When dad passed away in December, so close to Christmas, I was not prepared for the memories that came flooding back. The ones I had forgotten about with the passage of time. And though I am thankful for them, I am filled with so much sadness as well; sadness that there were things I still had to say to him and was now unable to.
And so, I will say them now. Dad, you were a special person. You were so talented and gifted in so many ways, I think you were almost a genius – at least that ‘s what I tell people. The way you could build anything from scratch, the way you could play any song on your guitar or organ by ear, or how you could figure out codes and maps and number games. It always amazed me.
I remember your love of music, and though I might not have appreciated some of the things you liked when I was younger, I grew to listen again with an open mind and open ears.
I remember your visits to me at college – I think you really liked them. And I liked showing you around, and taking you to the father daughter dances. I have some great pictures of those I show off to my friends. You look so young and happy, and that’s how I’d like to remember you. One time you and I went to a craft fair in the woods and ate funnel cake, and you bought me some lions for my statue collection. I had almost forgotten that great memory, but am glad I could recall it.
I remember taking you to the last Spring Training game at the old West Palm Auditorium, and though you were recovering from your cancer surgery, I think you had a good time. I don’t think there’s anything a father and daughter can do that’s more fun than attending a baseball game.
I remember so much more, like Friday nights at Sportsman’s Inn in the 1970s, or our trips to the beach every summer. And there’s the silly stuff, like you telling me how much you loved that actress in My Cousin Vinny. That one always made me laugh.
I’m recounting places and things, but that’s what a life is – a collection of the places we were and the things we did and who we did them with. I am glad I got to do some of them with my dad. I miss him every day. There were so many things I had left to say to him.
All we can do now is recollect, and your memories will be different than mine, but no less important. Now is the time to share those moments, and remember his life. It’s the time to come together as family and friends, and support each other. I hope that dad’s passing will bring us all closer together, and forge a stronger bond.
Thank you for letting me share my memories of dad. Please share yours, too, and celebrate his life in a joyous way.
Life really is like a slide show, and all I wanted to do was capture a few of the pictures.
I’ll be back over the weekend.