There is a song that I used to enjoy listening to. It is called "The Living Years" and is sung by Mike & the Mechanics. For those not familiar with the song, it is about living in the shadow of your father and never truly seeing eye to eye or allowing yourself to just give in and tell the old man that you love him, because men just don't do those sorts of things.
I don't listen to it anymore because it makes me cry for reasons that are too complicated to understand, even for me. The truth is that we all feel like our fathers are these larger than life figures. I think that the wish of most men is to make our fathers proud (or at the very least believe that we have lived up to and possibly exceeded his expectations of us).
The song doesn't hold for me because I know I made my father proud because he told me on more than one occasion. I also know that I never held back in letting him know how much I loved and respected him. We just passed the anniversary of his death. He has been gone now for over three years and I am still not able to completely deal with that reality. But I do know that it is not because I have regrets that we never were able to see eye to eye.
I guess my real problem is that I still am not ready to believe that he is no longer a part of my living world. He never got to hold his new twin baby grandsons and they will never get to know what it was like to see his goofy faces and laugh at their Paw Paw.
The part of that Mike & the Mechanics song that always gets me goes like this (sing along if you know the melody):
I wasn't there that morning
When my father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years
The first part is not true for me. I was there the morning my Father passed away. I was lying beside his bed in one of those uncomfortable hospital recliners. We had fallen asleep, my Mom and I on either side of him. When we woke up, we found that, true to his nature, Daddy got up before the sun had risen and he went to his new heavenly home (more than likely to see if there were any creeks near the Pearly Gates that had some perch biting).
The second part though, the part about the father's echo in my baby's tears, that part hits me like a freight train to the chest every time. Recently, Mother sent me a picture of my Dad when he was a baby. Here is it is:
In that picture, my dad is the little one being held by my uncles. Does that baby look like anyone else that I have recently posted pictures of on here? I'll give you some help. I cut out just my Dad and placed it next to a picture of Tony in his swing:
I mean, they would never pass for identical twins, but I certainly think you could say there is an echo of my Father in Tony.
I love my Dad and I miss him terribly. I know that he is watching and I hope that he is proud of the man and father that I have become. More than that I hope that he is proud of the little echos of him that are my children.