What a beautiful tribute to your father. I never really knew mine, for he died when I was three. Nowhere in my memories do I recall telling him that I loved him, nor do I remember ever holding him. But, I do know that he is watching and guiding me just as your father is surely watching and protecting you.
Sitting in Michael's Lap
Spiked, Sonny and Kess- thank you for your kind words. Spiked- I think that's just an excellent idea. I am so grateful that this poem encouraged people to pick up the phone or make that visit while they still can.
... the old black rum
Denise, thank you for this poem, I lost my father when I was just 4 and I felt an emptiness for my whole life. Though I hardly new him, with family help I was able to gather the knowledge to build great memories. They keep him near me.
Denise - I don't know what to say. I wish you could have one more time. Your poem makes me regret some of the times I've held back for one reason or another. My father passed away in the early 80's, and I never tried to have a relationship with him, though he reached out several times, including the time he met with me just before my flight to Viet Nam. I was brash and so sure I was right. Only now do I realize that it isn't being right that is important.
I thank you all for reading and for your sympathetic replies. I wrote this in the midst of the darkest days of the grieving period. I had forgotten how dark those days can be. My Mom passed away when I was 18. We didn't have a chance to say 'goodbye' to her as her death was sudden and unexpected. She was only 44. Even though my Dad was almost 73 when he passed away and he had been ill off and on, his passing also took us by surprise. One of the biggest comforts to me was realizing that even though we might not have said 'I love you' as often as we should have and regret those times of youthful 'brashness', I believe Moms and Dads always know the love that their children hold for them...even if the children don't always realize the depth of that love, at times. Thanks again for your warm and caring responses. My sympathies to all of you you have also felt that pain.