Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
Another Father’s Day.  Just another day on the calendar for me. Guess you never realized how much I hated this day when I was a kid.  It’s been years since you’ve been gone, but you had disappeared from my life a long time before the cancer claimed you.  I wish I could resign myself to that loss but time hasn’t diminished the pain, taken away the bitterness, or made me less angry.  I will never understand what it was that kept you from being a part of my life (those 2 days when you showed up with a girl friend not much older than me don’t count).  You have no idea about the emptiness – no clue about the lies I told myself to make it through those tough parts of life when I was truly alone.  No comprehension of the scars that are still there.  I am proud that everything I had to know I learned on my own, but it would have been nice to have had some guidance about things like courage, integrity, and strength.  Even better to have learned how to be a man instead of figuring it out on my own, looking for any kind of role model I could find to fill the void you left.  I haven’t always been a perfect father myself but I’ve been there for my kids (your grandkids by the way), and they know that my love is unconditional and will never have to wonder about that.  They will never have that huge, sucking hole in their hearts that you left me with.  I will never understand what it is about some men that makes them abandon their children – maybe it’s because you lack character.  Or values.  Or maybe, in the words and language of the characters I write, you were really “just a piece of shit.”
          I think some times that’s closer to the truth.
          So, today, if you’re up there in heaven looking down (although I believe there’s a special place in hell for a guy like you), I want you to know that the anger and pain you left me with has driven me to succeed.  To be different.  To be better than you.  To be nothing like you.  And if we meet again in the afterlife, just pretend you don’t know me……because let’s face it, you never really did.
          Thanks Dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Updates From The Edge

So once again it’s that time when I look at the calendar and realize that weeks have passed since I last took the time to vent and rail against the world…..for those who wonder why I don't bother with Twitter, there's your answer.  I believe that in most cases, “right now” is more important than “a few minutes ago” – you can’t spend too much time looking backwards if you want to move forward.  Nostalgia, however, is a wonderful thing and there are times when each of us believes you can go home again (no matter what Thomas Wolfe had to say about that).  I believe that when you tell someone you’re a writer they are often very generous in sharing their ideas on what to write and how to do it better – I would never presume to show up at a loading dock and tell someone how to offload a truck.  Although given the state of our economy, I have a couple of ideas that politicians,  bankers, and various executives at Wall Street financial institutions might want to consider, especially when it involves spending what you don’t have. I believe that each of us has a God-given right to the pursuit of happiness – that doesn’t mean we get it automatically – just that we should be able to seek it and work towards it.  I believe that acceptance of gay rights/marriage will not cause the end of civilization as we know it.  I believe that the Bruins were the better team in the Stanley Cup finals regardless of how Luongo played, and that the Mavericks were better than the Heat.  And on the list of the greatest guitarists, Brian May of Queen and Paul Kossoff from Free don't get enough credit.  Same for Mick Ronson.  And Glen Buxton from Alice Cooper.   

And in honor of Father's Day, I believe that while it takes a village to raise a child, one of the most important villagers has to be that child’s father.