Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Don't take it personally, Dad. It's not your fault.

Thirty years ago at about this time, my father was taking his last labored breaths on an upper floor of Brookdale Hospital, a tall, gleaming oasis tucked between two of New York's most blighted and forbidding neighborhoods. Though I remember shockingly little from that period of life, I remember the night of his passing in great detail. It had been a day much like today: gloomy, dank, streets clogged with accumulated snow, ice and grit. I've already written the story of that night, so I won't belabor it here except to say that once again I'm keenly conscious of how different the arc of my life would've been if Dad had gotten the extra 15, 20 years to which he was entitled.

He was a good man—and a profound stabilizing influence. And if you know me to any degree (which few do, to their benefit), you know how much I could've used more of that. ;)

All of what I consider positive about me—jazz, baseball, thinking/writing, my love of animals and children—I owe to him. The rest of it? I'm afraid that goes on my own tab.


By the way, no comments needed/accepted on this post. (In a way, I feel presumptuous in even saying that.) This is my 490th of these, since I launched SHAMblog in July 2005. I hope I can be permitted a very small handful that are just "between me and me."

We'll get back to the business of this blog tomorrow.

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