March 22, 2020-
My father would have been 93 years of age, today. He transitioned on June 22, 1986, three months after his 59th birthday. Dad was a middle manager, in the jet engine department of the General Electric Company’s Riverworks Plant, in Lynn, MA. He told me it wasn’t the greatest job in the world, and it often seemed to me that his overlords didn’t appreciate him to the fullest. I know he did his level best.
Dad was slow to adapt to new ways of doing things, but he wasn’t rigid in his thinking, save his steadfast frugality. He taught me to consider all points of view, even those that seemed counter-intuitive. He was engaged with his five children and never, once, favoured one of us over the other. Discipline was meted out as fairly as he knew how, with the facts he had at the time.
He was a man of faith, but was not an ideologue. He attended Catholic Mass, most every Sunday, yet also didn’t miss a television appearance by Billy Graham, who he greatly admired. His belief was that all Christians revered the same Son of God. This paved the way for my own belief in the Oneness of all religions, which he accepted of me, while silently shaking his head.
When there was an emergency, he handled it-even if, on occasion, he was physically spent and grumbled a bit. He cared for all around him, taking in a sick brother at one point-and consistently pulling himself together to see to the needs of his youngest child.
Dad could seem to look at life through rose-coloured glasses, but deep down, I know that he knew there was a problem that just was not going away-whether it was my youngest brother’s illness or his own, which took his life far too soon. He had his moments of magical thinking and attempts to escape reality, as many of us have, but he always came back to the life, and the woman, he loved most.
I thank you, father, for all you did and for what you expected of me. God knows, it took me long enough to achieve it.