I met my father once when I was twenty. He was an arrogant, seemingly wealthy contractor that was living in Palm Springs with some bleach blonde that was about half his age. My older brother had somehow tracked him down, called & he invited us down for the day. As we stood nervously at his front door I remember that my thoughts were all over the place. Should I be happy to finally meet the man who brought me into this world or should I be angry that he simply disappeared from our lives when we very small children?
As he opened the front door with the afore mentioned blonde at his side, the best he could come up was the following greeting and it still ring through my memory banks; “So, what do you guys want”? He made it very simple for me to determine my course of thoughts so I went to anger, and I remember thinking “What can I do to hurt this person with his look of haughty disdain”?
Even I didn’t expect what came out of my mouth next. I simply told him that I didn’t want anything from him as he hadn’t provided anything to our lives prior to the meeting. I didn’t want his money, his beautiful home, his girlfriend, nothing. All I wanted to do was face a man who could just walk out on his children & never make one attempt to see if we were okay as we grew up.
It was then & there that I made up my mind that I would never do that to any children that I might have.
Everyone is an example of what you want to be like or someone that you want nothing to do with and Larry certainly fell into category #2. I’d heard that he was a saxophonist in the Harry James orchestra (for those that have never heard of Harry James, he was part of the Big Band Era which ran in the middle 1930’s to the early 1940’s. This was never confirmed or denied, I just never found any proof either way. I’d heard that he spent most of his adult life on the road travelling with the band. In those days everyone took busses, there was very limited commercial airline service available, and most of the Big Bands had so many members that it would have been financially impossible to travel.
Out of the seemingly bad comes good. I am now the proud father of two young boys, Trent & Trevor whom I cherish and love very much. Because of the way that I was raised I know the pain of not having a Mom or Dad to raise me. It stunk plain and simple. I will never abandon my children for my own pleasures. Even though their Mom & I ended up divorced we still both consider the boys our number one priority.
For that kind of dedication I get to take them to dinner for their birthdays, I get to participate in their lives. For that I got the pleasure just a few minutes ago of receiving a call from them wishing me Happy Father’s Day. For that we are going to spend the day watching the minor league team to the San Diego Padres the Lake Elsinore Storm which was their idea. For that I will get a hug, a card and a kiss from my sons.
I love being a father but more than that I love not being on the Dead Beat Dad’s List, I love the fact that I can call them, or they can call their Dad anytime they want.
So to all of you Fathers who tirelessly play catch, run yourself ragged playing soccer, constantly get beat playing video games, laugh at the jokes that aren’t funny, take them to the latest Kung Fu Panda movie and listen to their review of the movie, are there when they fall, and you’re there when they’re in the school play, no matter how small or big the part is………………………………….HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!
One last note to my Dad, thanks for nothing