August 6, 2015. Today my Dad would have been 76! He passed away after a brief, brutal illness when he was 68. Gone, never forgotten.
As the Big Brothers continues to grow into a young man, I notice more ways he reminds me of my Dad. As I said in this blog post a couple of years ago, they are Subtle Ways.
I can hear his voice in my head, it was deep and smooth. Unless you screwed up big and then he had a yell that stopped you in your tracks and brought you to immediate tears. In retrospect he was a quiet guy. In a large group his words were sometimes few but to the point. He didn’t need to raise his voice because he could change your behavior with one quietly spoken phrase, “I’m really disappointed in you.” I pretty much dreaded hearing those words. Thus, it was excellent motivation to shape up!
He was also the original life-coach. With one speech he made you believe in the power of your permanent record, holy days of obligation and the parent teacher conference for slight of grades and heaven forbid, bad behavior. You dress for church, don’t lean your rear-end on the pew when kneeling during mass, you don’t leave before the closing prayer and you better put something in the collection basket or he would nudge you with it. Through the power of his persuasive speech you believed you ate well for “poor people”, children in another country would be glad to have what you did, you had nothing to whine, cry or complain about and the ultimate Life Coach statement that has me unable to throw in the towel, “He did not raise a whiner, quitter or complainer!”
At 49 I still hear that motivational speech in my head. With some fear and trepidation I just registered for my first class to earn my Masters Degree. I can hear him saying, “just do it, Ames, you’ll be fine.” Just wish I could hear him say in the end, “Aw, I’m proud of you, Ames.”
Happy Birthday, Dad!