Monday, April 04, 2016

April 4, 2015 - Twenty Five Years Later

I've thought about this off and on today.  I haven't given it the time I should have, I'm really distracted this April 4.  But this is an important one.  Twenty five years ago today my dad died.

How strange that I came to the place that I arrived yesterday, the day before the big twenty five.  My dad handed me my future when he drove me to the track in 1979.  He watched almost every moto, every semi, every main over the next four or five years, until he was too sick to go anymore.  I will admit to never giving it much thought, but I was constantly being told by other adults around me how proud my dad was of me.  Did he really say that?  He didn't talk much.  It was hard to imagine him saying that.  Today I like to think that if he only said 50 words a day, how graced I should feel if some of those precious words were about me.

We traveled to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Kansas in his old jalopy, the 74 Torino.  Once, when I was 14, we had traveled to Indiana and he fell ill.  He would do this from time to time, but this was worse than usual and I had to drive from somewhere in northern Indiana to some other city overnight while he laid down in the back seat.  I had never driven a car before then.  We usually didn't tell my mom about these things.

Something that I always think about: I was born when he was 49 years old, the same age I am now.  That's a pretty advanced age to have kids, made even worse with failing health.  That also means he was 61 when he took me to my first BMX race.

He would be 98 years old this year.  Hard to comprehend.  1918 seems so far, far away.

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