a real man?… me?

My dad got sick last week. Really sick. Don’t know what it was… some sort of upper respiratory, scratchy throat, achy body, my sinuses are gonna explode, somebody please put a bullet in my head kind of sick.

I’m fortunate that I have both my parents on this earth with me still. I don’t talk or visit them as much as I should but it’s comforting nonetheless to have my parents accessible.

But when my dad called me the other day, it sounded like he was choking, like he was gasping for air… like he was…

like he was

… dying.

It was sobering.

I haven’t always gotten along with my dad. In fact, for about two or three years during my college life I would, if asked about him, say he was dead. In retrospect I know deep down I didn’t really consider him dead to me, I was just angry. Over the past 15 years or so, our relationship has healed but even through my most angry stage towards him I always thought he was one of the strongest men I’d ever known. I’ve always thought him to be really street smart… savvy, with an extreme sense of initiative, self-motivation and enterprise. Risk taking… always jumping in with all guns blazing.

At times he is seems loud, boisterous, confident to the point of arrogance.  Despite those ugly character traits there a lot of moments I wish I were just like him.  My mom says I am.  I don’t see it.
There’s a song I know called “Real Men” by a guy named Ken Gaines (he’s a wonderful singer/songwriter from Texas). There’s a line in it that goes, “real men think their fathers never died. No they just can’t seem to tell that man goodbye.”

I guess (according to Ken’s line) I’ve been a real man for some time. There is just no way my dad is ever going to die… no way.

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One response to “a real man?… me?

  1. Ah, I lost my mom this year and I will tell you that I am so embarrassed that I felt like her behavior or personality was a reflection of me. It isn’t… or wasn’t and I wasted time being uncomfortable about other peoples reactions to her. I am sad about that… for her and for me.

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