Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day... Almost Late

Last night at midnight I was awakened by the sound of a phone ringing and then the deep, halting and slightly whispery voice of my my bro coming over the answering machine. "Um, Snooker... I don't know if Europe has these holidays on the same day... but uh, I just talked to the Old Man." (yeah, between ourselves we've been calling him that pretty much since we were kids). "He says that he hasn't heard from you yet today... and ummm... it is Father's Day... and um...OH CRAP, it is like midnight there... I'm sorry. Uh I just thought I would remind you just in case you forgot. OK, I'll go now, sorry again."

Yeah, I'm THAT kid. The one that forgot Father's Day. You have to admit that if I were in America there would be MANY little reminders in the weeks leading up to the holiday, but over here I just don't get them.

So I rolled out of bed with some effort and crawled my way to the phone. "Hey Snooker, it's Baby Snooker here."

"Well hey there! I didn't think I would hear from you," he exclaimed in that jovial voice I miss hearing. "It must be about midnight there, you should get off of this phone and get back to bed."

"Yeah Pop." I uttered in an obviously sleepy voice. "But big bro called me and let me know about Father's Day, and I wanted to call and chat with you for a while."

"Nah Kid," he said in a tone that said the conversation was over, "don't worry about me, everything is fine and I'm having a great day. Right now I'm watching two wild turkeys digging around in the dirt outside the kitchen window."

You have to know my father to know that this is a cool thing for him. This is the guy that will drive along a country road and come to a sudden stop pointing out one side of the car... "Look, look... a buck," (male deer, city-lubbers) "he's at least a 10 pointer," (referring to how many points there are on his antlers), all of this said with glee and wonderment.

In his younger years he would have been after those wild turkeys with a gun, bringing them back home with a smile on his face that can only be understood in the hunter/gatherer sense. But now he is enjoying a quiet life out in the country again. He and his wife have a really nice lake house with lots of acreage and a pool... what else could a retired guy want?

Meanwhile I feel like the bad kid. I'm the one that moved sooo far away. I'm the one that calls only once a month or so, and I'm the one that he doesn't know how to introduce to his friends. "Fred, I want you to meet my daughter.... and her... uh... friend." Sorry I forgot your big day Pop. But I know you, every day is a big day.


Goofball said...

next year you can call him on the european father's day...a week early for him!

barbara said...

I'm a little late with this post but I wanted to share.
I darn know what it's like, going away, and having just the phone and occasionally, mail for Dad. I always had the feeling that mine accepted my departure, but missed me.
My Dad has been gone for 9 years...
All I can say is love your Dad all you can. Say it high & mighty in the phone or by writing.