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Loving and Losing Dad

I lost my Dad almost 10 years ago now. He was 86 years old and had lived a long, fulfilled life. But he was still Dad and I guess it doesn’t matter if your Dad dies at 86 or 46 or 26. Age doesn’t matter. He was still Dad.

A person I love lost his Dad this week. Like my Dad, his Dad’s passing wasn’t unexpected but it still hurts. Someone told me once that, at least through an illness, you can somehow prepare for the end. Maybe that’s true for some. It wasn’t for me. Even though you know it’s coming, it’s going to happen, it’s still…I don’t know…a shock? Maybe not. But I don’t think one ever is fully prepared.

I can’t tell this person who lost his Dad that he should celebrate they years he had with his Dad. I think sometime he will, but not yet. When my Dad died, it took me a long while before I could look back and say “You know, I was lucky. I was really lucky. I had a dad I loved and who loved me.” Oh, we didn’t say “I Love You” out loud to each other, but I knew and I think he did too.

But right now he can’t do that. There has to be grieving. I went through it and so is he. It’s proper, it’s natural, it’s right. But there will come a day and maybe sooner than he thinks.

A day he’ll tell his kids about his Dad. About the good times, the rough times, all the times that make up a relationship that is strong and close.

When I lost my Dad, I thought about the fights we had, the disagreements, the times that maybe weren’t the best. But now, after sometime, even those are warm memories because all the ups and downs made us what we were and what I am.

The world keeps turning, the work still needs to be done, and those of us left behind need to love each other, support each other, keep our lives going. And part of that is remembering, talking, holding, laughing, crying.

I do a little writing from time to time, a play, short stories, songs. But the video here is the one song that I wished most that I had written. It’s the one song that moved me more than any other. John Prine sings the song here and it was written by one of my favorite songwriters of all time, Steve Goodman. Steve wrote “City Of New Orleans” and David Alan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”. But for me, this is the best.

If you’ve lost your Dad, no matter if he was 24, 64 or 104…I think you’ll like this song. It’s called “My Old Man”.

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And to that person I love that lost his Dad. It does get better and the time will come when there will be a smile on your face before there’s a tear on your cheek.

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