Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Once upon a time it was a spaceship. Once upon a time it was a stagecoach…and a jet plane and a pirate ship and a circus train…a riverboat, an army tank, a submarine and a covered wagon. It took astronauts and cowboys and pirates and soldiers and sailors and test pilots on amazing adventures to the moon and Mars, the Oregon Trail, the deep, dark jungles of Africa and over, on and below almost all of the seven seas. It made daring rescues, heroic flights, dangerous voyages and narrow escapes. Once upon a time…a long time ago. Once upon a childhood or two. Today it’s what’s left of an old wooden swing set out behind a long ago abandoned house. It’s weary and broken, the forgotten victim of a few too many hard winters and a severe shortage of childhood imaginations. Once upon a time though…it was a spaceship.
Friday, June 13, 2014
20 years ago I lost my hero. At the time though, I didn’t know how much of a hero he would become to me. It’s been mostly during the years since he’s been gone that I’ve slowly discovered how much he had really taught me about the responsibilities of being a man…of being a father…of being able to love…and being able to be loved. Mostly by just watching him live. 20 years ago…I lost my Dad. Now, he wasn’t the smartest man I ever met…or the most creative…or a spinner of great yarns…or teller of great jokes. Those are all good things to be though and I admire those efforts. My Dad’s mission in life however, was not to be a great man among men. His mission in life was to be a great man among…me. And that he did. He accomplished that in my eyes by doing what I believe was sacred to him. He did it by always trying to do the right thing…in any situation…no matter how hard…no matter what the cost. Sure, he fell short sometimes, but he always tried. That was how he lived his life. And I think he hoped his life lessons would teach me to try to do the same. I know I’ve let him down more than once…but I’m trying Dad…I’m trying. 20 years ago I lost my hero. I’ve never told anyone this, but late in the evening of the day my Dad died I was standing alone in the dining room of my home looking out the window at a very dark, night sky. I remember saying to myself, “I just need to know you’re OK Dad, I just need to know you’re OK”. At that very moment a shooting star lit up a corner of that very dark, night sky. I saw another shooting star tonight. I’m still trying Dad…still trying.