I was listening to Russ Lee sing “The Living Years,” and it brought to mind my Dad and the lack of communication he and I had. He wasn’t a bad Dad, he just didn’t talk or share with me. My attempts were not as forceful as they could have been. When I would attempt to talk or ask him questions his answers were always short. The closest I came to anything was when my mother died. We were all looking at pictures that Mom had saved and started asking Dad about the pictures. There were pictures from WWII when he was in the Philippine theatre. He didn't go into detail but I learned more from him that day then I did the whole time growing up. This was back in 1997. I was 50 years old. Too little information too late. Dad soon developed Alzheimer’s and died ten years later. Unlike the song, “I wasn’t there that morning when my Father passed away,” I was there. Just before he left he opened his eyes and looked at me. I have always felt he was checking to see who was watching him and that he was not alone.
As that line and the following line, “I didn’t get to tell him all the things I had to say,” played, tears came to my eyes. It seemed like I had missed the most important time of my life. My Dad is no longer here and I could have been a better son to him.
My sons and I have a closer relationship. I see them and spend time with them. I share things, I write to them, I talk to them. We laugh, we cry, we agree on some things and we disagree on other things. When it’s time for me to “go home,” there will be no regrets. I am sharing “The Living Years.”
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