a fathers day

a fathers day

this was a father’s day, no not that one, a real one, a day my father would have loved, the sun out in full force, humidity half hung as not to oppress, yes, this would have been a day for him, to sit out on the deck behind the house, like being a king of your own kingdom earned from 40 years of taxes and work, soaking it all in, smoking one of those awful cheap white owl cigars, his only vice (besides snacks), only on occasion in the summer, except for the magnet of the sun, basking like some ancient reptile laid out on the banks, for sure I thought that would have been the thing to do him in, some sort of skin cancer or something related, but no, of all things covid was the thing, of course he was not so perfectly healthy at 84, heart issues for years, heart attacks spanning back 20 years, but those things seem to live with you or you live with them, unfortunate companions of a sort, they keep to their side of the room mostly and you tend to yours, no, the sun, if ever there was a sun worshipper it was he, on the beach in those ridiculous beach chairs that are much more like hammocks outlined with cheap aluminum bars, your bum supported more by the sand under than the strength of the fabric stretched, the low rider of outdoor furniture, on a day like this, he would have been truly happy, a monolith, a solar panel, his old black ray-bans reminding of his youth in the 50’s, all the things you see in cliches, the white t-shirt, the sleeve rolled up with a pack of smokes even though he didn’t smoke, the convertibles he had, the caddies, the thunderbirds, I might imagine that is what he was thinking about on day’s like this, as he sat there in the sun, reliving those memories of cruising down the neighborhood, in those big old long cars, the wind in his hair when he still had most, piling in the seats with his two younger brothers, the king and his chariot, blazing across the summer sky, yes, a day like today makes me think of him more, he has been gone a year plus now, a toll of a war we did not win, just simply survived, I hope wherever he may be now, he has days like this to enjoy, as a perpetual memory, this is your day, father, father’s day, a day like this.

notes: I am not one to lionize my father, for he was human, he had his flaws, but some days, in his glory, I got it, I got him, I could see what he lost by settling down and having us kids, not that he would have changed anything, but you always leave something behind, and the things you do in youth can be so pure that they resonate through the rest of your life, I love my father, flawed as he was, the only one I had, he never abused us and always provided enough and more, so what else can you say, as the time goes by the warts and the humanity wash away, and there is only the love, the light, and I wonder if I could live in this moment with those in this life right now, that is the challenge I suppose.

in honor of my father…

in honor of my father…

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

in the presence of the sons
in the presence of the brothers
a long witness, my mother
a wife for five half score and two;
all of us here, under the all-mighty eye of g-d
to return this vessel
these building blocks
into the earth herself
for today –
I buried my father.

I did not inter love, nor thoughts
nor a lifetime of memories –
for even death, can not purge those
safe, in the deepest corridors of our hearts

those standing, those left
those knowing
for a piece of him resides within you all, now
rejoice in this, take solace in this
in time you will know this to be a guiding lantern
to purge any darkness

so I wish him farewell, for now
until we will meet again
in some other place
a dimension we do not quite yet comprehend
of this I am certain
a calm of peace has settled in
within these thoughts

goodbye, my father, for I will see you again
and thank you for the gifts you left for me
the ones you taught, in imperfection
in perfect humanity
I say goodbye to you, my father
with love – your son, always- your son.

notes… this post is one of my toughest on a personal level (obviously), I thought about not posting it, but this is what hit me @ 4am this morning, I rolled out of my non sleeping bed and wrote these words, before the funeral, the nervous energy I had was overwhelming, or was it dread? I do not know, I have not lost someone so close to me, as I have said in the past I have been lucky to be so untouched by the craven hand of death, but not so, and I knew it was coming at some point… but nothing prepares you for the reality, the customs, the going through, the physical steps to the grave site, the hole, a literal hole with a casket, the dirt in a dominant pile, the cold grip of it all, as if this was a fantasy burial, the sky was mostly blue, there was a cold wind, we were in woodbridge nj but might as well have been in the middle of anywhere, vast and wind swept, I could not speak, I thought it would take forever but as over too soon, but there is nothing you can do, except release and accept helplessness, and just turn back to those you love…