Mom would have wanted…

I lost my father almost five years ago.

My mother is very close to passing away now.

Some might say, with the advancement of Alzheimer’s Disease, that we’ve already lost her.  I don’t see her that way at all.

One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that her children are quick to use the phrase “Dad would have wanted…”  or “Mom would have wanted…” and then fill in the blank with whatever they want to do.

Some examples:

Question:  Should I read a book or play tennis?

Answer:  Mom would have wanted me to play tennis.

Question:  Should I fix a pot roast or go to a movie?

Answer:  Dad would have wanted me to go to a movie.

I don’t say it very often, but I, personally, am more apt to have thoughts such as “Dad would turn over in his grave if he could hear this bullshit.”

This makes me think about how religion must have started.
The first thought was “Who made all this?

Answer:  God.

The second thought was “How did He do it?”

Answer:  The Book of Genesis and other ancient texts.

The next thought is, “Wow, what a powerful Being.”

And then the next question.  The biggie:  What does God want me to do now?

Answer:  God would have wanted…fill in the blank.

With Dad, Mom, and God, it’s awesomely convenient.  With a little ingenuity, you can justify anything!

Four years ago today

My father passed away on this day, February 28, four years ago.  Those kinds of days get frozen in memory.

I didn’t visit him the day he died.  It was the day we started Coffee News, and I was out delivering our first papers.  I did go by his house that day and looked in on him.  He was asleep.

Dad and Ikeybird

I did visit twice the day before.

Once, at lunch.  I was in the kitchen, eating some of his food, and talking with Tammy, his caregiver.  He walked in there, without the walker or wheelchair.  I looked up from the kitchen table and he was sitting across from me, breathing hard.

“You’re paying for that,” Tammy said.

Pulling for air, he nodded.

Later that night, I was at Port City Java, buying a cup of coffee for me and a piece of cheesecake for him.  He liked cheesecake enough to take a bite or two of it, towards the end, when he barely ate anything at all.

He called my cell phone to tell me that somebody good was on Larry King.  I wish I could remember who it was, but can’t.  I do remember it was somebody he knew was of special interest to me.  I went over and we watched the show together – something we did many nights.

After that, we watched a basketball game.

As I was leaving, he asked me if I would be back the following night to watch Wake Forest play.  He was a Carolina fan first, but he also loved Wake Forest out of sympathy for me (and because sending me there cost him a lot of money!)

Wake had a pretty bad team that year, and I think they were up against a much better team from Florida State.  I said, almost cruelly, that they were going to get killed and I didn’t want to see it.  Instead, I told him, I would watch American Idol with my daughter – and then visit after the show.

He died during American Idol (and he was a real one).

The picture here is from about 2003 or 2004, I think.  Taken in our house with an early PDA camera (fancy tech at the time).  Not great resolution, but a fun picture that I enjoy often.

[Thanks to the generosity and superior searching skills of Crystal Holmberg, I now remember Larry’s guest that night.  I had already tried, but Crystal successfully located that night’s transcript.  Larry’s guest on Feb. 27, 2006, was Jon Stewart — certainly my very favorite, as Dad knew].

Fond memories of my father

Yesterday would have been his birthday.  He would have been 87.  Third one he’s missed.

Dad always went for the humor.

Here is a picture I really like — taken in the hallway of my house, with an older Treo PDA.

My sister emailed these pictures yesterday (his birthday):