Turns out I was right. Karen in tears. Dad. Gone.
On the good side we saw Dad to a ripe old age. Our kids knew who their Pop Pop was and they in turn will tell their Grandkids about their Grandfather. It was great talking to Dad every day and telling stories of my youth with his guidance, telling him about his wisdom over the years, and telling him how important he was in my life. I would tell him all the time that I am who I am because of him.
On the bad side is there ever enough time? Also you see him getting weaker and weaker like a light bulb getting dimmer and dimmer.
I was lucky, I had these wonderful, great parents. Intelligent, classy and each one left their stamp on me. My Mom had a sense of style, was oh so pretty, and she was a great mother. She was a great friend. She watched tennis on television in the days of Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors. I remember hearing 40-love and thinking that I needed to ask somebody about that. Sounds funny to say this but I heard her curse once in my entire life. Think about that for a second. Plus she turned me on to Sam and Dave and the Rolling Stones.
My father was handsome, a colonel in the Air Force, a great Dad and sang opera. He was also a great friend. If you asked him a question that he didn't know the answer to he wouldn't just tell you something so you'd go away. He would go find out the answer before getting back to you. And this was before the internet. Think about that for a second, too. He passed on his love for reading and trivia. Plus he turned me on to Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
We grew up different.
Different in that my folks were strict and loving at the same time. We learned manners, being polite, and as my Mom said, "Be sweet."
I always say they prepared us for the cold world on the other side of your window. And for that I'm eternally grateful.
The difference between your kids and your parents is like night and day. You can remember a time before your kids you can't remember a time before your parents. And then you watch them go from these towering oaks to lesser trees to older grandparents to...
Which brings me back to Dad. For those who haven't lost a parent they have no idea. Those of us who have know.
Those of us who've lost both?
Not a group you want to be a member of.
Today is a Valentine's Day I'll never forget.