My Dad passed away seventeen years ago today. No one’s talked about it all day. Maybe no one’s thought about it- but I doubt it. I almost told some friends about it tonight, but we were watching So You Think You Can Dance, and how do you bring it up then? In between the dream sequence on the bed and the solo belly dance?
Anyway, the sting has mostly gone out of it. Time does that, it’s true. I feel the lack of a father in a more general sense than I specifically miss him. There are moments, though. Starting my new job, for instance.
Dad was an English teacher. He directed the school plays for a few years, too. He provided my first experience with imagery in literature in a kitchen table lecture on Macbeth. At seven and twelve (eight and thirteen?) my brother and I couldn’t grasp the “double, double” scene. When Dad explained why people were popping out of that cauldron, the foreshadowing blew my pre-pubescent mind. It’s strange to think that I’ll be doing the same thing for slightly older children in just a few weeks.
Since he’s gone, I’m not able to list his favorite books. I know he liked Shakespeare. He chose The Pajama Game as the school musical once. He used to recite poetry to my mother. So I leave you with a fragment of a fragment of a memory:
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Perhaps I lied. I still miss him.