The last month or so I’ve had a lot of memories pour over me about my father. He passed away on May 22 of 2013, but it seems that the death of a loved-one can have strange after-effects on the mind even a couple years later. I don’t have as many really “good” memories as I’d like to have, so I think my mind has really grappled onto everything that reminds me of him that doesn’t seem inherently negative.
My Dad and I, a long, long time ago it seems, used to spend a couple hours a day playing computers games together. We had a wired network set up in our house back in the early 90’s — back before having networked computers was “cool.” We would play Command & Conquer, Doom, and even CivNET, but as I got a little older he became convinced that I was cheating — I imagine because I actually started getting good enough at the games to win once in a while — and he stopped playing.
Many years later, right after my son’s birth, there was a massive ice storm that sent our little town into chaos for a few weeks. The night of the storm, the temperature was just below freezing and the power was out pretty much everywhere — we had no heat at home as a result, but Dad’s house had a gas fireplace that could be run in spite of the blackout. I remember we all stayed at his place and listened to the sound of the trees in the yards behind the house as they cracked and split under the weight of the ice.
As more years passed, after he became ill, I was trying to visit from time to time just to make sure that I could help support him a bit even though I no longer lived in town. We very rarely talked of the cancer — perhaps it is best that way — but we did talk about the state of science and space exploration, science fiction, politics, and sometimes spirituality (but only to a minimal depth). I recall that until the week or so before he passed, while his body failed, his mind retained the same sharpness it had always possessed.
Over the years I have managed to collect certain things that either were his at one time or remind me of him. As I type out this blog post I am sitting at what used to be his monster glass and metal wrap-around style desk, on which I’ve placed one of the decorative lamps he and mom bought many, many years ago. Michelle and I also ended up with a significant collection of his old books — science fiction and horror classics.
Much more recently, my affinity toward all-things-dad has culminated in my acquisition of one of his cars, much to my wife’s chagrin. This is the vehicle in which I learned to drive — I even drove it on Prom night. I remember the clunky, old-school cell phone he let me borrow (posted about finding that here) that night. The car is a 98 Ford Mustang — not a GT or anything insanely flashy, but a really comfortable, nimble little cruiser.
My Dad also owned a 2003 (50th Anniversary) Corvette, but it is my understanding that it’s value was enough so that it was actually worth something to his creditors. I don’t really think I would have enjoyed it as much seeing as how I had never driven in previously and had no real connection to it — most of the times I had seen it, it had been covered.
Every day I take a moment to remember my Dad, as well his father and my mother. May their memory always remain fresh in mind. May we always keep the best memories closest.
Cherish your families while they are alive and remember them when they pass on. Thank you for reading. Please be well, friends.