Between Yesterday and It Never Happened

For those of us who are missing one or both parents Mother’s and Father’s Day takes on a whole different bent. While I’m lucky to still have my mother alive and well at 82, my father passed at 59 so Father’s Day for me is a day of reflecting on the past while still trying to be present. The following are some Thoughts From Today’s Walk (recovering from a pulled gluteus and bronchitis).

Today is the 25th Father’s Day without my dad – I think about him daily but miss him like crazy on days like today. Looking through some old photos in albums, framed or the ones my family post on Facebook I can’t believe 25 years have passed it seems like yesterday and then it seems like it never happened.

Walking with my headphones in my iPhone Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade starts playing and I start tearing up remembering how much we both loved his music and watching Jimmy Stewart and June Allison in the Glen Miller Story. Watching the 4 O’clock Dialing For Dollars movie was a ritual as was watching every John Wayne movie on Saturday afternoons.

This was dad’s favorite time of the year,  4th of July his favorite day of the year. We’d spend the day with family first walking into town to watch the parade. Then we’d all walk back to my grandparents house where my grandfather would be cooking his clam chowder and clam cakes. After devouring the wonderful food we’d all play croquette (our parents sometimes not as sober as they were earlier). This was followed by a visit to the carnival, an evening cookout and ended with fireworks. What made it even more special was the fact that my father was on vacation and we’d be heading to the beach. Man could he swim and love to swim. There’d be clam boils and beers being kept cold in a fresh water stream. He’d be wearing boots and black socks with his bathing suit and have a white V-necked T shirt with his Camels and lighter either rolled in his sleeve or in one of his socks. His brother Danny my cousins and Aunt Alice would be there too and my mom would pop by after work. Then it would be time to go home, but not after swimming to the raft and diving off his shoulders, hunting for periwinkle or digging for clams. It was lovely yes it seems like yesterday and it Did happen.

Thanks for the memories dad and I didn’t mind you controlling my play list; Moonlight Serenade, Eddy Arnold Make The World Go Away, Louis Armstrong It’s A Beautiful World, Ray Charles You don’t Know Me, Glen Miller’s String of Pearls. Coincidence? I don’t think so I think dad gave me a father’s day gift!


Running Backwards…

Runs take on a life of their own today’s theme was running backwards, to another time in the same place. Here are a few of those thoughts and or observations;

Lush green hills you were for tumbling down, I see you covered with cousins, friends and my brother rolling and laughing then looking and observing the clouds for familiar shapes. Where are today’s children?  Hills are beckoning…

Lilacs the scent brings me back to May days in school bringing lilacs for the teachers and Saints in the church at SES. Beautiful lilacs once my grandmother’s and my aunt Lucy’s that bordered my childhood home, do children still bring teachers flowers?

Neighborhoods built in the sixties where baby boomers like me grew up adorn the main road I run. I ventured down one such road today, and found tiny ranch homes built by the greatest generation. When a 1700 square foot three bedroom one bath was enough to raise 3.5 children. Where hours must have been spent swinging on the swings in the small park with the chain link fence. Suddenly I have a vision of mothers wearing aprons and fathers coming home in work clothes caring a lunch pail. Where are you now? Your houses are peeling and the lawn needs mowing, do your children visit do the grandkids play on the swing? Almost on cue Glen Miller’s String of Pearls blasts in my ears and I smile, the spirit of times past is with me.

My pace slows as I’ve returned home and to the present, was it 30 minutes or 45 years? I’m left hoping I can run backwards another day and to another time…