Monday, December 19, 2011

The Piano Man

My father died on May 31, 1981. On the day he died he was fifty-seven years old. Had he lived to see the 19th of December that year, we would have celebrated his 58th birthday. Today, had he lived to see it, would have been his eighty-eighth birthday.

By the time of his death, Dad and I had a relationship that could fairly be described as strained. Perhaps it had at least a bit to do with the fact that I was the youngest of his six children. I turned fourteen three and a half months before he died. At some point in time prior to what became the last of my birthdays he lived to see, he and I had a parting of the ways. We became "people who lived under the same roof". Nothing more. Nothing less. When it happened, I was at a bit of a loss trying to understand what had happened. Prior to our entry into the woods by way of divergent paths, we had been thick as thieves. Once we got into them, we never found our way out. Would we have? I know not. Time did not allow us that chance.

I am slightly older now than Dad was when I was born. In the years that have passed since a son of fourteen buried his father, the son has married and raised two children of his own. Perhaps at this stage in the son's life, he has lived almost long enough to have a bit better understanding of the issues that confronted his father in his father's day-to-day than he did thirty years ago. Perhaps.

Or perhaps the son has lived long enough - and run far enough himself - to know that no matter the direction you head you are always running against the wind....

....Happy Birthday Dad.

-AK

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