What is a father?
Is it someone who holds you, scolds you, leaves you or loves you? Is it all those things?
Yes. It can be that. It can be more.
My father sailed the “Julia Anne” to the far east and brought home treasures from China. He was happy leaving us. Adventure was his lover.
He ran into burning buildings to save the lady, the kid and the cat. He was an unavailable hero.
He quoted Irish Poets and taught us to box in a barn.
Dad was fierce with a fierce love and sometimes far away. He gave me a thing to be.
I see him in the raised beds at my daughter’s house, in the way my son discusses a passage from a book, his cigarette flicking, legs crossed–the brightness of his eyes. I see him in our granddaughter as she questions with vigor, accepting no easy answer. Sometimes I even catch him in me–in the way everything makes sense in a far away place with only the night sky to guide me.
A good sentence is my dad. A wild place, a big sea-these are my dad.
Father’s are hard edges, they aren’t easy to figure out. They tell you that you are difficult when all you can see is wanting them to be proud.
Here’s their secret–they are proud. They worry if they tell you that then you won’t try so hard.
Well, Daddy, I tried hard. I know you were proud. If you were here-you’d be extra proud. I am standing on my own two feet. You said I could.
My father has left the earth. I can hear him in the high bell sounds of the ships rigging.