Posted in Family

I Miss My Papa

As of yesterday, my Papa has been gone for 19 years. I phrase it that way because it seems a little morbid to refer to “anniversaries” of someone’s death. Anyway, I tried not to think about it too much, but I couldn’t seem to shake a low-grade funk all day.

I miss him. It’s such a simple thing to say, but to truly miss someone is a concept we don’t often take the time to understand. When I say I miss him, I don’t just mean that I wish he were still alive. I mean that there are things I’d like to do with him that I can’t. I would like to introduce him to his grandkids (he wouldn’t care about the “step-” any more than I do).

I would like to hear his voice again. I’ve now lived longer without him, than with, and I can’t really remember what he sounded like. I remember him being a very good singer. I was blessed with both parents being exceptionally gifted in the vocal department, and was always being dragged around to different functions (church, barbershop and whatnot) and singing was an integral part of our lives. So it is something fundamental when I say I miss his voice.

I would like him to tease me about my hair going grey (and going away). I would like his advice on parenting.

One of the things I regret most about him dying so young, was that I never got to take him to dinner. I remember the first time I took my Mom to dinner. It wasn’t preplanned that I would pay, but when the bill came I took it, and she didn’t fight. It’s subtle but meaningful step in the relationship between a child and their parent. And I never got to do that with him.

None of this resolves anything. I still miss him, and I guess I always will. And I don’t have a problem with that.

Posted in Family

It’s the Little Things

When you have a family to take care of, it’s often the little things in life—the incremental luxuries—that get us excited.

When I was a little kid, a quarter, or a tiny piece of candy was a great reward. As I got older it took more to elicit excitement—a new CD or even a CD player for a birthday or Christmas. And when I lived on my own, I could give myself any luxury I could afford, and even some that I couldn’t. But now, with a family, I’m back to being excited by the little things.

You see, yesterday I won an eBay auction for some new eyeglasses…well, eyeglass frames. I’ve been wearing the same pair of glasses for over 5 years now—a condition made possible because the frames are a very bendy metal, so if I fall asleep wearing them I don’t damage them. But now after five years the lenses have begun to deteriorate. As the scratch coating wears off I’m spending my waking hours staring through a pattern of fading coating that looks an awful lot like clear paint peeling away. And frankly it’s giving me a headache.

But these glasses were expensive. Bought when I had very good vision insurance. So I was thrilled when I found a new pair, very similar in style, and made of the same flexible metal. They even came with magnetic sunglasses.

I suppose it doesn’t say much for my lifestyle when winning an eBay auction for a mundane item gets me all excited, but if you don’t understand then you’ve never been a parent on a budget.