June 20, 2009

A Father's Day Post

Confession time. I have listened to Josh Groban sing You Are Loved about eight times in a row. There is something about it that grabs my attention. I haven't watched more than thirty seconds of the video.

Canto Della Terra with Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman does it too and so does Springsteen singing Tunnel of Love. Don't know exactly what it is, but they touch me. I listen to those songs and others and find myself wishing that I could sing.

Second confession. If I could sing, I mean if I could really sing I'd want to be able to do a couple of things. First, I'd want to have the sort of voice that made you stop in your tracks. Second, I'd want to have the sort of presence that made you feel like that when I was singing it was for you only.

Third confession. I do sing and have sung for you before. You might not remember, or perhaps you do, that day so long ago on Hampshire Road or was it somewhere else, in a secret garden all of our own. The world that no one else has seen. There I sang softly, quietly because that is the only way that my voice sounds ok.

Perhaps I shall sing again for you, perhaps not. Somewhere, some day along that Hampshire Road.

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The kids couldn't wait until Father's Day to give me their gifts. They were far too excited and insisted on my receiving them earlier this week. I didn't mind. They were both handmade and will be gifts that I hold onto for more than just sentimental reasons.

The big guy gave me a travel mug that has a note from him and a picture of him holding a football. His sister the dark haired beauty gave me a desk tool that holds papers and was decorated by her. I don't want her to feel like she is getting the short shrift here because I am already using it. It really is something that is helping me to stay organized and it is beautiful because she made it.

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As it happens tomorrow is the third yahrtzheit of the death of my paternal grandfather. I have been fortunate to have been close to my grandfathers and am glad that I still have my maternal to hang out with. But not a day goes by that I don't think about my other grandfather.

Tomorrow I'll see my dad and we'll celebrate Father's Day together, but it will be different for me. Different because I'll get to do it as both a son and a father. It is different because when things are hard and I feel like I need to lean on my father I can still do it. If I want his advice or to just bitch about things, he is there.

But my dad doesn't have that option any more. I haven't forgotten listening to him talk at the funeral and how he said that his father was his hero.

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Three years have passed since I had to call my father and tell him that grandpa had died. Fifteen since I had to tell him that his little brother had died. When my grandmother died I was young, so I didn't have to pass that news along.

He doesn't hold it against me and never would, but when I think about it I sometimes feel badly.

Tomorrow night he'll celebrate the day with half of his grandchildren and most of his children. It will be a lot of fun, but I am sure that there will be a moment or two where he thinks about his dad and misses being able to talk to him.

Not because he is in dire need of his help, but because sometimes it is nice to be able to talk to your dad. Because there are moments where it is just nice. One of the best Father's Day gifts I got was reading my son's report card. It was just awesome to see how we'll he had done and to read about how much he had grown.

I couldn't help but call my folks and tell them about their grandson. The kid is smart and has always done well, but this was just something else. I got a lot of pleasure out of telling them about him and how he deserved most of the credit because had done the work.

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So tomorrow I'll make a point of asking him if he wants to go visit grandpa. And if he does I'll offer to drive and the two of us will go say hi. And if not, well that is ok with me because it is Father's Day and the whole point is to ask my father what he wants for his day.

Happy Father's Day Dad, I love you.

6 comments:

Hassan Amin said...

Jack:
Thanks for supporting my agrument regarding Pak-Israeli Ties on Pakistani Spectator Blog. How did you find that article of mine??

Anyways, regarding father's day, its the song 'My Father's Eyes' by Eric Clapton that used to captivate my emotions during my high-school days. Nowadays, I don't listen to music much, since my only major objective is to finish my undergraduate engineering studies with good grades. That will be the best present for my dad, who lives 6000 Km away.

Best of luck to you,
Hassan

Ayrdale said...

My dad died in 1982, aged 59.

I dream about him still, and hear his voice. The other night I dreamt he came into the room, sat opposite me across a table and reached out his left hand to me. Nothing more.

I am a grandfather of 2 small boys now, and treasure the memory of my father, and know the greatest thing a man can do with his life is to be a good dad.

Jack said...

Hi Hassan,

To be honest I don't quite remember how I stumbled upon it, just that I did.

Good luck with your studies.

Ayrdale,

There is nothing better than being a father.

Hassan Amin said...

Hi Ayrdale,
Really sorry to hear that. I share your sorrow. We all love our fathers. My father lives abroad and I haven't seen him for an year now. Yet I miss him and my family each day. When they were here, I never really though I would ever miss them this much. But now I've realized I was wrong.

Jack,
I guess it is the beauty of the internet that a person from Israel can 'stumble' upon a blog post written a Pakistani. In fact this is the first time I've met someone from Israel. Really nice to meet you.

Actually I'm on summer break these days. There is a growing realization among young educated Pakistanis that Pakistan must establish cordial relations with Israel. This is what prompted me to write that essay. As soon as our Pakistan Army eliminates all terrorists, extremists, and our domestic situation improves we can hope to see a breakthrough in relations between our two democracies.

Wish you all the best.

Greetings from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Hassan

Jack said...

Hi Hassan,

The Internet really does serve as a bridge between worlds and communities. I have always found that to be fascinating.

Ayrdale said...

What a good exchange to start my working day !
As well as a chance to exchange cordial greetings, the internet is truly an open forum for ideas, the essential medium for a free and open society.
We need this technology today more than any time in history.

Kia ora to all readers of this blog from New Zealand.