These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

a flood of memories

just went you think you've got it under control and you've set a course through smooth sailing, it all comes back in a flood of memories.

this past week i've been thinking a lot of dad. too much. i think of the old man every day and how much i miss him. i don't get those feelings where i think i'll just give him a call and see what's up. it's sunk in and i know he's dead. but i'd like a conversation or two with him or to glimpse once more his thin smile or a dry comment about something, maybe even a joke about how president bush is running the country or the state of duval county politics. or even the old standby: the weather here or there. just to hear him talk about the cows again. the ranch.

sometimes i wish i had one more conversation. or maybe i should have paid more attention here or there. oh i miss him terribly. you just don't know how much i miss the old man.

i think what started all of this is listening to music we both enjoyed. as i've mentioned before, he got me into listening to norteno music, especially los tigres del norte. they have become my fave in that genre. when we came back, i brought back lost of his cds that he'd bought during the last few years, when he'd sit on the couch and listen to the music.

i brought back a lot of the music. it's one of the things that connected us. i've not given a listen to any of the cds. this week i decided to try one of los tigres. i listened to it several times through. it was a mistake. i had to put it away tonight. i couldn't continue to listen.

i will shelve the cds until i feel i can listen to them in the future.

it's funny how things just started coming back. lots of memories of him, things i'd forgotten. the time during my senior year when he drove to town new year's eve night when i left a party at about 1 or 2 in the norning. he'd told me if i needed a ride, he'd pick me up. it turns out i did and he came. so unselfish. yet another time, when i failed to come home (this was when i was 15 and just begining to drive), he drove out at about 1 or so in the morning to find me. i must admit that i fibbed and said we were stuck between two cars and couldn't get out. i didn't want to get in trouble. a few miles from home, we encountered him coming to find us. he cared so much. i'm sorry for lying about why we stayed so long, pops. we were having a good time at the wedding.

and then there's the time after my eyes went bad, he told me, again unselfishly, that he'd give up one of his eyes to me if it meant i could see better through one eye. an impossibility, i know, but still, just the thought of it meant so much. i don't know if i ever said thanks, probably not, but thank you pop.

it's so hard to have these memories come flooding back (when we go back to the ranch this spring, it'll be extremely tough). but you know, at least i've got lots of good memories of dad and i can run that reel over and over if i feel like it.

you left us so soon, pops. even though we had more than two years to prepare, it was as if you left without warning.

missing you, man.

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