A Father Remembered

“If my character is flawed by a few minor faults, but is otherwise decent and moral, if you can point out only a few scattered blemishes on an otherwise immaculate surface, if no one can accuse me of greed, or of prurience, or of profligacy, if I live a virtuous life, free of defilement (pardon, for a moment, my self-praise), and if I am to my friends a good friend, my father deserves all the credit… As it is now, he deserves from me unstinting gratitude and praise. I could never be ashamed of such a father, nor do I feel any need, as many people do, to apologize…”

– Horace

We volunteered our evening to a worthy non-profit by working a beer tent at the Clovis rodeo again this year and I worked with several people I’d not met last year. I found we were all of a certain age, with some common past experiences, and during the time spent side-by-side icing down drinks the conversation naturally turned to discussing our children and grandchildren.

Bragging, really.

Later, as I thought about it, I turned my thoughts around and remembered Dad, and how I summed up in the eulogy I gave at his funeral about how I thought of him. I had originally thought to use Horace’s words, but instead chose the lyrics of the Irish song, “The Old Man”:

“The tears have all been shed now

We’ve said our last goodbyes
His soul’s been blessed
He’s laid to rest
And it’s now I feel alone

He was more than just a father
A teacher my best friend…
I thought he’d live forever
He seemed so big and strong

But the minutes fly
And the years roll by
For a father and a son
And suddenly when it happened

There was so much left unsaid
No second chance
To tell him thanks
For everything he’s done…

I never will forget him

For he made me ‘what I am’
Though he may be gone
Memories linger on

And I miss him, the old man.”

Horace and I both bragged to the world about our fathers and I wonder if Horace was remembered as fondly by his children, in spite “of a few minor faults”.

I wonder if I will be, as well.

– Bill

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