Wednesday, June 19, 2013


 It's a beautiful evening here as I sit on the back porch writing.  Twilight is setting in.  The clouds are a mix of pink and and purple and a weird blue-gray.  The moon is out -- a waxing gibbous, I think it's called.  Looks like it'll be full in a few days.  It's a painting.  God doing his best Bob Ross.  Or maybe God let Bob paint this one...

I don't know what it is about Father's Day that makes me think about my dad.  Just one of life's little mysteries, I suppose.

Saturday, the plan was to meet Dad and his wife and go to supper and to the cemetery where his parents are buried.  (I've written about the cemetery here.)   Dad wanted to meet at 3:30.  It's about a 45-minute-to-an-hour drive to the cemetery.  So I'm thinking we'll get there at 4:30, leave the cemetery around 5ish, and be at the restaurant by 5:15 or so.  I know they like to eat super early, so that seemed like a good compromise.

I cannot adequately describe the moment of surprise and just wanting to burst out laughing out loud as Dad blew past the exit to the cemetery and I realized, "Oh, my dear Heavenly Father, we are about to eat supper at 4:15 in the afternoon."

But that's exactly what happened.

As we were ordering our drinks, my step-mom got water and whispered, "I didn't figure I oughta have any caffeine this late in the day."  Meanwhile, I was looking much forward to my sweet tea and thinking, "I'll be doing great if this is the last caffeine I have today!"

After force-feeding myself a rather delicious meal of a cheeseburger, chili dog, (What?  They're really small!  Everybody gets multiples!) and banana pudding for dessert, we left for the cemetery.

Dad took a different way -- an old way -- and showed us the house where he grew up.  As we continued on the drive, I asked where his high school was, and he started peering off the road to the right.  He said, "You can probably see it behind these new buildings."  The buildings turned out to be the new school. He didn't realize they had built one.  And though I'm sure it didn't bother him, I felt bad for him in that instant.

Later, he took us clear across town to the cemetery where his two half-brothers are buried.  They weren't buried near each other and they obviously weren't buried by their parents.  I wondered why.  Dad didn't seem to know.

At some point as we walked amongst the peaceful rows of markers and flowers Dad mentioned that he and his wife had already purchased their spaces at a cemetery near where they live now.  It's not something I wanted to think or talk about, so I left his words to linger and fade without a response.  At the same time, I marveled at how he spoke of his own mortality with such matter-of-factness.

I think Dad is in a really good place these days.  There's an ease in him now that wasn't always there.  A contentment.  He seems to have found the answers to some of life's many questions.  It gives me hope that I, who take after him in so many other ways, will do the same.

He's all over Facebook now.  He mentioned it on at least six separate occasions during our excursion Saturday.  And when I called to see if he wanted to do this for Father's Day, he was at the gym.

We leave each other with a hug instead of a handshake anymore.  And the "I love yous" are no longer just implied.

But not everything has changed. He's still playing the guitar, still working, still driving the same old Chevy truck, which seems to always be barely running.  He's still in church every Sunday morning and night.  And he remains quite taken with his role as a grandpa.  "Peepaw," Nephew Bone calls him.  Some might say it's the role he was born to play.

Me, I always kinda thought he made a pretty good dad.

"I notice I walk the way he walks / I notice I talk the way he talks / I'm startin' to see / My father in me..."


  1. I lost my dad 11 years ago. Not a day goes by when I don't think of him. Unlike my brothers, I used to tell him all the time that I loved him. My mom says that I am more like him than any of my brothers. I don't know why but it sure feels good.

    As you said, he made a pretty good dad.

    YES, he taught me PHYSICS!!!


    PS: This is one of your best posts....

  2. Be honest - his talk of Facebook about drove you crazy, didn't it? :)

    Also, I need Bob Ross reruns.

    And perfect song choice.

  3. I know you love me to pick lines. But truthfully Bone this post was so beautiful (and a lot Seinfeld funny) I couldn't. I love daddy/child posts as you should know from all of mine.

    But I loved this one especially as it showed your maturation. And your inner--I will always be a kid when my Dad is around.

    Cherish him!

  4. My Mom just went to my second cousins high school graduation.... at the same high school she went to!

  5. Four-thirty? Who eats dinner at four-thirty?

  6. Lovely and heartwarming...from start to finish.

  7. Gautami ~ No wonder you love physics so much :) When I was younger, I used to dislike comparisons to my dad. Now I take them as a compliment.

    Thanks so much for the PS.

    TC ~ It's just still odd to hear my dad utter the sentence, "They wanted to be my friend on Facebook."

    The Create network used to show Bob Ross reruns some. I'll need to look that up again.

    Pia ~ Well, you know I think no one does daddy posts better than you. Thank you. And I will.

    MarkD ~ That's kinda neat, I think. I was just having a conversation about cousins with someone this morning. So would your second cousin be your Mom's first cousin's child?

    Renee ~ And there wasn't even an Early Bird Special! Does this mean I have to buy my dad a Cadillac now?

    Sherri B ~ Thank you so much.

  8. I had "the death talk" with my folks a few years ago. I spent about an hour on the phone with them, getting all the details. I managed to hold it together until we got off the phone and then I cried buckets.

  9. I loved this post. My favorite thing though is that you typed out "laughing out loud."

  10.'s eerie, at times we seem to live the same life. I almost can't write this comment for my tears, but you wrote the post I was planning to write on Father's Day and didn't. I've been away, I had to accompany my Dad to Connecticut so we could have the memorial for my Grandma K., and it wasn't the best trip, we caught the tail end of that tropical depression and it rained and rained and was cold, I had a sore throat and was miserable and wondering why we were there. And then on the last day, (the sun out finally) my Dad was driving us to a deli he'd heard about on Food Network, when suddenly he veered off and said he was stopping in Norwalk, his old hometown and while we'd been completely dependent on the GPS, when we got there he turned it off, he didn't need it. "I know exactly where I am " he said. Then he showed me his old house, his elementary school, his friends homes, the church, where he'd burnt down part of a bridge! He never said it, but I realised that we'd made this trip not so much for my Grandma's memorial,rather so my Dad could say 'Goodbye'. I had to put my sunglasses on and look off into the distance to hide my tears. So this me it's everything I was going to say and didn't. In short, it's magic...

  11. Shades of Seinfeld with the early dinner but this is a loving and touching post. It feels real.

  12. Nice tribute, Bone. The day my father finally retired for good, he cancelled his internet service! He used email, but felt it was for work... And years ago they brought cemetery plots down near the sound, saying he wanted to be where when the tide is high he can feel salt water on his toes.

  13. I'm not looking forward to the day when I can't have caffeine after 4:15. Fortunately I can still chug some at 9:00 and still have a decent night's sleep so I think I'm a ways off yet.

  14. This is lovely. I love the variety of posts you share on here :)

  15. I think it's interesting that you and your step-mom were both even thinking about the fact you were drinking caffeine. I guess growing up having a Coke after school every day and with dinner leaves me feeling pretty unaffected by it no matter what time I have my last drink.

    And dinner at 4:15?? Wow! Does your Dad have a snack before bed or go to bed at 8?

    Sounds like you did right by your dad this Father's Day. Enjoyed reading this lovely post.

  16. Xinher ~ Definitely not a fun thing to think about or talk about.

    Susan ~ Thank you. I've been on an LOL-cleanse since my last post. I've relapsed a couple of times, but for the most part, it's been good.

    Jill ~ Yes, I love that Dad still knows all the back roads in his hometown, even though it has changed and grown I guess more than any city in the state since he lived there.

    I'm sorry about your Grandma.

    Hilary ~ So true. I think I even remarked as I was recounting the trip to someone that it should have been a sitcom episode.

    Sage ~ Thanks. I like the way your father thinks.

    Ed ~ I've always been like that, too. But here recently, there's been a night or two where I had a coke after 9pm, and struggled a little to get right to sleep. Maybe I should go ahead and start thinking about moving to Del Boca Vista?

    J. Adamthwaite ~ Thanks so much. Yeah, you never know what you're gonna get with me :)

    Ally ~ Well, I wasn't thinking about it at all until she said something.

    If I know Dad, he probably has a snack most nights. I will say that after eating so early that day, I never really got very hungry that evening.

  17. Yes move to Del Boca Vista!

    Anybody you know have anything to do with your LOL rehab?

    Does your step-mom really speak like that? It was perfect

  18. Heartfelt & heartwarming
    You've painted a beautiful tribute to your
    Dad. 🎣

  19. Very nice Father's Day post, and how awesome was Bob Ross?