Memorial Day has come and passed. This year I didn't make it out to my dad's graveside. The weather, prior obligations, blah, blah, blah, and other excuses prevented me from going.
The truth, though? I don't like to visit the cemetery. I prefer to remember my father as the living giant he was. Larger than life and twice as full. When Multiple Sclerosis struck him down, he never nestled into depression, instead choosing a higher path. Even though confined to a wheelchair for a good portion of his life, Dad managed to raise three boys, doing so with humor, strength and compassion. Once, in a rare mood of melancholy, he apologized for not being able to toss a baseball back and forth with me. I said, "Dad, hello! I hate sports. That doesn't matter." He just smiled. A man of few words, we both understood, a silent acknowledgement of our mutual love.
So when I go to his graveside, all I see is a patch of grass. Not the man who meant so much to me.
I commemorated his life in my Tex, the Witch Boy trilogy. A what-if scenario, almost. Tex's dad suffers from MS, yet still maintains a functionally happy existence, a strong guiding force in his son's life. My dad would be doing the same thing for me if he still lived. And he does. His spirit lives on in my books, doling out wisdom and, of course, fatherly angst about stupid teenage mistakes. Being a parent now, I totally understand. Just wish I could tell him so.
The Tex trilogy goes out to you, Dad. Love you. Miss you. Happy Father's Day to all fathers past and present.
* * *Get all three of the "Tex, the Witch Boy" series. I guarantee a good read.
TEX, THE WITCH BOY (Book 1)
TEX AND THE GANGS OF SUBURBIA (Book 2)
TEX AND THE GOD SQUAD (Book 3)