I loved him so
My father was a short man, but he loomed large over me as a child, as all fathers do.
We buried him earlier this week. My mother had to help me into the room for the wake. His death, so soon after Alison’s, was almost too much for me to bear.
Cursed under my breath almost the entire time.
But I went for the same reason that every guest that stays over gets a donut and coffee in the morning.
Cause it’s the gracious thing to do. And being gracious means doing things for the comfort of others over the comfort of self.
And the last place on the planet I wanted to be was in that room. But I had to do it because he woulda wanted me there for my mom.
My father, who was raised speaking Japanese with a Japanese name, was nothing if not gracious.
The tributes to him always mention how he went out of his way to make his guests comfortable – picking them up from the airport, cooking lavish meals for them, teaching them what he knew about so many varied subjects.
He taught me how to be polite and, by extension, how to be loved. Because in a world of selfish and rude people, I think that meeting someone that always listens to your stories after offering you a bowl of chili and a glass of rum is refreshing.
Could just be the rum, I suppose. I digress.
Everyone that came into my parents house got a cup of tea, food, and pleasant conversation.
Perhaps that’s why Alison and he got along so well. She would always be upset with me if we had guests and the house wasn’t immaculate. Because a guest has to have a clean and neat place to stay. She was nothing if not gracious.
Alison is gone now but I do what I can to keep up the lessons she taught me to give to our son. I loved her so.
My father is also gone now. I loved him so. But he still looms large over me as a man, as all good fathers do.
Hope I do the same for my boy.
You know, I don’t ever call my son by his given name. I call him by my father’s name. As do the members of my family and some of hers.
Cause I wait for the day he asks me why and I can smile, sit down, and say, “Ah, sit down. Lemme tell you about my dad. He was a great man. I loved him so. Still do.”
Location: the corner of sadness and incredulity
Mood: drinking at 10AM, so not too bad, actually
Music: I call your name, but it’s not the same as having you here
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