Saturday, August 29, 2009
Say It Now
My mom is ill. She's hospitalized and we are all aware that she will never leave that place alive. While we, as a family, are also aware the she will get better care and comfort there than anywhere else she could be, it is difficult, at best, to deal with final phase of her life. On Thursday, August 27th, my dad, and my brother, who was visiting him to help out, were returning from her hospital visit, when an allegedly drunk driver hit their vehicle, broadside, at about 60 miles an hour, killing my father. I won't go into the emotions and thoughts that come with such an incident, at such a crucial time. They are too vast, too fleeting, too personal and too raw to discuss. Nor will I pontificate on the subject of drunk drivers, or any other of a million selfish acts humans mindlessly commit, taking each other's lives. It is all sad beyond reason. Like many strong willed young men, and their fathers who forged a family out of post World War II America, with young children & wives to support, my father & I had our difficulties. Those born to Art & the Avante Garde are frequently at odds with the regime that spawned them. These things are part of life. Our reconciliation over the following years is also a fairly common thread, as the youth enters the Machine of American Life, and understands the death defying circus one must master to accomplish this. And master it, my father did, raising a family of four children and a stay-at-home mom for decades on end, moving us from the hellish Langley Park Projects of Washington DC, to respectable working class neighborhoods of New York and beyond, and creating in us all a fiercely independent and pioneer spirit that crossed all lines and social barriers, teaching to simply Do The Right Thing. Finding out what that is makes life's journey worth living. Of any & all accomplishments I have, or will make in my life, the greatest one of all is this: Making sure, as uncomfortable as it may have made him, to tell my father exactly how much I loved and appreciated him, again, only two days before his death. I would encourage each and every one of you reading this to consider doing this to those who really matter in your life. It may be your last chance. You never know. Letting those who love you, however they express or do it, that they are loved in return, that they are appreciated for singling you out as worthy of such a deep and strong emotion, well, it's The Right Thing To Do. It just is. I miss you already, Dad. And I love you. Still. And wherever you are, I know that you know. We're taking good care of mom, too. Rest now, in peace. You've done more than enough. Thanks.