10.10.2011

This is the way of fathers and sons

I remember bike rides and baseball. Our dog was the shortstop. I was never very good at baseball. He wanted me to be good at it like he was. This is the way of fathers and sons.

We went fishing often. Early mornings spent getting the boat in the water, looking for the perfect spot, coming home empty handed. This is the way of fathers and sons.

There was a lot of vinyl then, many hours spent listening to the Beatles and CSNY. Many hours spent listening to him play guitar and sing. Believe it or not he didn't want me to play guitar when I was very young. We see how that turned out. This is the way of fathers and sons.

Our family was never rich, but I never lacked. This is the way of fathers and sons.

I got older and we began to butt heads often. This is the way of fathers and sons.

I played guitar and quickly surpassed him. I was growing up and we struggled to find our middle ground. I'm sorry I never became a famous rock star, he only requested I buy him the first house on the left in key west.This is the way of fathers and sons.

He tried to tell me what to do and I got angry. He tried to be too involved and I resented it. He tried to relate in the way he knew how and it hurt me. I needed to strike out on my own for my own. This is the way of fathers and sons.

He drank too much and I hated him when he was drunk. But he was never violent, only irritating. This is the way of fathers and sons.

He helped me to go to college. He supported my pursuits, sometimes too forcefully, he wanted to participate instead of stand back and be a proud father. But he was never absent, and he was proud. This is the way of fathers and sons.

He got cancer and I said goodbye. He fought back. I was angry he didn't take better care of himself. He got very sick and I said goodbye. He hung on. All the pain and treatment and drugs and illness and coma and surgery changed him. He was not the same man I grew up with. I said my piece and I made my peace, as much as I could, but the man I really needed to talk to was gone. I said goodbye. This is the way of fathers and sons.

We settled into a good relationship, somehow him finally understanding the adult I had become, and me understanding why he did and what he did to make me that adult. He loved me and I will always love him. One last time he fought his body, but it was time to rest. I am saying goodbye again, for the last time. I will spend the rest of my life missing him, cursing him, being angry at him, wishing he was still here, loving him, being grateful for the time we did have, because this is the way of fathers and sons.