Monday, October 06, 2008

Tuesdays with Dad

I've had the chance to hang out with my Dad for most of this year on Tuesday nights at happy hour and then friendly poker. He stepped into our regular group and everyone seems to enjoy having him there. He's a funny guy and has some good stories to tell of drinking and gambling in his youth (and beyond). He retired this year at 79 after almost 50 years at the Post Office. I have tried to take advantage of the situation by asking him about his life before the little brother and I came along. He was just shy of 40 when he married Mom and started working on a family. A few months ago, I asked him a question about his time in college and why didn't he finish. He responded that he really didn't feel like talking about it so I let it go. Last week, as we were sitting at D's for happy hour pre-game, he brought that night back up.

"Do you remember asking me something a while back and me not answering? I don't know what you asked me about in particular"
"You said something about it. That you thought we were both old enough that I should be able to answer any question you asked. You remember that night?"
"I remember it exactly."
"Well, you're right. We are old enough. Anything you want to ask me, you go ahead and I'll answer the best I can."
"Alright. I'll keep that in mind."

Alright internet friends and enemies. Given that opportunity, what would you ask your Dad? Many of you have written good and bad about your fathers over the years. Some of you have lost Dads already. What do you wish you had asked? What do you want to ask now?
If you know someone who may be able to contribute, please pass this post along.

Help me out here.


Uncle Chuck said...

I'd probably ask him why he decided to sleep with my Mother's sister and ruin my childhood...

but that is just me.

Still waiting to ask that one, but that day will come one day...

BigPirate said...

My maternal grandfather had five kids with grandma, and then had four more with her sister. My Mom didn't talk to him much and I barely knew him.

SirFWALGMan said...

How bad could it be right? He just did not finish college. Unless he got expelled for having his dick up some frat boys ass during hazing I do not think you will learn anything earth shattering. Actually it might bring you closer if he is feeling uneasy about telling you because he is ashamed he quit or something. You can support him and tell him he is the smartest postman you ever met. heh. I would ask of course. That is just me though.

BigPirate said...

The college thing is not a big deal. I just brought it up because it happened to be on my mind that night. I assume he found a job he liked and went down that route. Of course, he did seem a little defensive so there might have been a woman involved.

What would you want to ask your Dad M?

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

This is so person dependent. As for me, I don't think there's any question that I have that I haven't asked my dad. Other than that, there are some things that I would respect the privacy of that I probably don't even care to know (I can't even think of what those things are).

Btw, I had no idea you were a big ECU guy. I still sport my David Garrard ECU jersey on Saturdays. I was at the game when they beat Miami at NC State (the game they had to move to Raleigh cuz of flood). I love Greenville.

GaryC said...

Great post and a very good question and like Recess said, so person dependant. Me, I probably still have questions for my Dad that I can't ask now, my loss.

I would only say to take full advantage of all the time you have with him and cherish those times. They will be precious memories in the future, I promise.


Otis said...

Wish I had a good list of questions. I don't.

One thing I do have though is this: Don't just ask questions. Try to figure out of there is anything you've been wanting to say all these years and have not.

BigPirate said...

I was hoping Gary would pop in. Thanks. Waiting for TFG now.

Thanks Otis. That is part of the point. Hopefully, the questions lead to conversations where you can say those things to your Dad you've always wanted to say (or need to say). I think of my relationship with Dad as very close but we haven't had many of THOSE conversations you see in movies. Maybe because we're real men. Harumph. Harumph. Harumph.

Alan. I know it is Dad dependent. It is also son dependent. I want to know what you guys and girls would like to know about your Dad. I would like to know about my Dad's life those years before I came along. Why did he wait so long to get married? Was he ready for kids like I was when I reached the mid 30's?

I don't think I have any deep issues with my Father/Son relationship. I just want to make sure I do the best I can with the time we have left.

Seriously. Thanks to all of you.

Chilly said...

My dad is relatively young so I will go with what I did with my Grandpa. My grandpa would have been about the same age as your dad. I made him complete the book "Grandpa Tell Me Your Memories". Its my most prized possession. I keep in in a fire proof box. It won't get the deep down dirty details, but it will get you some places to get started.

For instance, grandpa and I shared an affinity for redheads. Grandpa also set off an explosion that broke every window in the town square.

BigPirate said...

Thanks Chilly. I've ordered that and the one for Grandmas. One of my problems, even dealing with my own family, is my shyness. It makes it hard to ask questions. Now, I can do it under the guise of being for the benefit of the grandkids. Fantastic.

muhctim said...

What a great post. Thanks. I do not think I can add anything that has not been said, though I could say it differently.
Morning coffee at the Krispy Kreme served as the backdrop and catalyst for my memories of my dad after he had retired and I had begun my own practice. He has bee gone almost 4 years now, I still cherish those times. There are a lot of detais to stories I never got, or stories I have reinterpretted to fit my memmories or even needs. A lot of questions were answered that I didn't even know I had yet. You are building memmories. For me, I have found that the stories were not quite as important as the time spent and the lessons taught. From what I have been privileged to observe, your dad is a good man, and he raised a good son. He has, thus far, passed on enough to teach priorities, loyalty, humilty and love of family. Be grateful, my friend, and enjoy the time.

BigPirate said...

Thanks Mike, I'm enjoying it. Just want to make the most of it and do the best i can for my kids when it's their turn to ask the questions.