May 27, 2011

He Aged with Simplicity

My dad and the wooden rowboat that he built in our garage.

This week's beauty is my dad who passed away ten years ago on Memorial Day weekend at the age of 82.

My dad was an metallurgical engineer, a sailor, a liberal, an avid reader, and a lover of nature who could frequently be found with a pair of binoculars around his neck. He thought the best thing about life is it's mystery, and the worst thing is people's cruelty to others. In 1999 I interviewed my whole family for a project I was doing called On The Brink Of A New Millennium. I asked each family member forty questions about their life. When I inquired what my dad's words of wisdom were he simply wrote:

Love people.

I miss his simplicity.

I miss hearing his voice,

and his sound advice.

I miss hugging him, and how he smelled.

I miss so many things about you, Dad.

At his memorial service I read a poem that I had written and given him for Father's Day the year before he died. It went like this:

      What You Are To Me

You are a wonderful father
who I could say most anything to if I needed.

You really have been quite liberal
and in your own quiet, unique way, very loving.

You have applauded when I have been responsible
and honest, and sensible
And you have been there for me to share my joy
when I knew that I was shining.

You are the intelligent man
The shy guy
The nature boy
The reader

The guy with the friendly blue eyes
who fiddles his keys and bites his tongue
in moments of thought or angst.

The father who more than anything I think
just wants his family to be safe, healthy,
happy, honest, and respected.

And as I have said before
you and mom have set the tone for my life.
A simple, beautiful, lyrical one of love,
that will be passed along for generations.

Papa, tonight's sunset is for you.