June 16, 2006 § 13 Comments
Story Corps made me weepy this morning. That’s not unusual, but the theme centered on this weekend – Father’s Day.
As I walked around the shops and glanced at advertisements, they all reminded me of Father’s Day sales, what to get dad, how about something he’ll love, etc. Lucky kids who still have their dads ponder what to get him, how to spend time with him, brunch perhaps? Grilling? All painful reminders.
My father was traveling on Father’s Day in 1997. The family all made plans to celebrate and give gifts when he returned. I painstakingly picked out two shirts that he really wanted. Daddy was a big guy, so I made sure to track them down in the specialty big &tall stores for him. But I never saw him alive again. He suffered a heart attack in his parked car halfway to his destination, and he suffered second-degree burns sitting in that hot car in the Texas sun (it was hours before anyone had found him). By the time we got there he was unresponsive and on life support, and we had to let him go. After he died, we flew home only to find our much more empty house filled with wrapped and unopened Father’s Day gifts sitting on the table.
That Story Corps interview was of a daughter interviewing her dad, and I just sat there and couldn’t think of anything I wouldn’t give just to have one more conversation or word with him, to tell him I miss him… So forgive me if I’m bitter and sad this month. They’re just painful reminders of the empty space in my heart.