I turned on the car recently and Sundown was just starting to play on the radio. I had a moment of sadness but then realized it was a happy start to the day. Maybe my dad would be with me…Sundown is a song that reminds me of him more than any other. I’m not sure why exactly because I don’t think it was a special song to him. I just have memories of it on the radio, me sitting in back, leaning over the middle of the front seats (I was a child back when backseat belts were not used), the two of us poorly singing Sundown. I can still feel the utter happiness I felt in that moment. He’d glance at me as we sang, smiling with a twinkle of conspiracy he often shared with me.

So I turned up the radio, started off to work singing loudly and joyfully, hoping he could hear me and that he was singing along too.

He had a way of making you feel like you were about to have some sort of adventure with him. A simple trip to the grocery could become an afternoon lost wandering around comic book stores in search of a random issue he needed for his collection. A trip to a museum ended with him introducing me to my first martini(s). Gin or vodka? Dirty or dry? We wandered around downtown until we found perfection in our preferences, and an expensive cab ride home!

Dad & Me 1965

When he and my mom moved to Oregon, we’d spend hours talking on the phone, and sent lots of cards and letters. He was my best girlfriend. There was very little we left out of conversation. I’m blessed to have come to a place with him where we were so close.

Today is his birthday. He would have been seventy-two years old today. It’s funny because I can’t quite imagine the man he would be if he were still around. He died unexpectedly at fifty-six, going for a backhand shot in a tennis tournament. Not a bad way to go all in all but tragically way too soon. He probably had a smile on his face, which for some reason brings me peace.

My mom stayed in Oregon for another decade before she and her beau moved back to Los Angeles to be closer to the grandkids. I don’t know if my parents would have moved if my dad were still around. They were happy there. It’s a lovely place to live. There would be frequent visits to see the kids for certain, but whether they’d return for good, I can’t say for sure.

I’ve said before but it pains me that he couldn’t have known Cole. The two of them would be fast friends, compadres, and partners in crime. My dad would have taken it upon himself to devise all kinds of gadgets and gizmos to improve Cole’s life. He was like that. He would have been inspired to create and dream with and for Cole. No matter how much I miss him, the real tragedy is that they never met.

I miss him.

Dad 1980's

I’ll miss him every day of my life…

One Response

  1. Touching tribute to your father. Sending love your way!

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