|Mom and Dad|
June 18, 2011 Father's Day, 2011
With Father's Day fast approaching, I am painfully reminded that my own father has been gone now thirty years. Thirty years without hearing his voice, or having him see his grandchildren.... how very, very sad. We used to go to my parent's house every Sunday. We'd pack the four kids, then that last year five kids, into my old Pinto wagon and drive the short twenty minute trip to their house for Sunday dinner. It was something families did in those days, no thought to doing anything differently. Mother's Day and Father's Day were always special days, and we tried to make it as happy for them as we could. I miss that, sometimes painfully so. I wish I had them both back so that I could tell them how much I love them, and thank them for raising me to be a decent man. I am what I am because I tried to emulate my father, who was always forthright, decent, and respectful to all. He worked long hours as a mechanic and, eventually, worked himself to death for his family.
Times are different today. Over the years, my work for New York Telephone/Verizon sometimes would bring me to the nursing homes in the area. More than once, a very old man or woman would mistake me for their son. They would grab my arm and say "Are you my son? He promised to come and see me." More than once I have seen these seniors, many of them mothers and fathers, warehoused and forgotten, left to the care of strangers who, most of the time, do the best that they can, but seemed to be overwhelmed and somehow hardened to the plight of these unfortunate souls.
Sadly, as the children get older and are consumed by the needs of their families, going to organized sports and other organized activities, their parents become an unneeded distraction and are sometimes forgotten altogether. They do not neglect because they want to, they do it because they are simply consumed by the demands of todays family life, so Mom and Pop are sometimes all but forgotten.
Let me just say this to you all. Those of you who have parents that are living, take the time to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Their time on Earth is measured in days, and one day they will be gone. You will never regret the time that you spend with them; rather, you will regret the time that that you did not. Count your blessings that your parents are still alive. To those of you whose parents have passed, you know of what I speak. Just take a few moments, as I will, to remember the sacrifices that your parents made for you, and how much you really miss them.
Happy Father's Day, everyone.