18 June 2011

Happy Father's Day

Robert White, Jamie White, Theresa Larrabee, Lanisa Larrabee

When my father died, I cried for three days and a friend asked why when he knew that our relationship had been difficult for a variety of reasons. I said I was crying because I missed "might have been". Years later I heard Amanda McBroom's "Errol Flynn" and cried again because so many of the images reminded me of my youth in Los Angeles and events with my own dad.  It took me a long time to get past the alcoholism, the long absences, the lack of support ... everything that had made so much of my life difficult and finally reach the "honor thy father" commandment.

He had been torn from everything he knew at the age of seven for a long voyage to a strange land with parents trying to escape the poverty that had descended on Scotland's mining towns in the min 1920s.  They arrived here just a few years before the 1929 crash and the mire of the long depression with his beloved mother dying at Christmas in 1934.   It took a long time for me to piece together all the secrets and lies to find this brilliant, funny, and talented man who loved to dance, loved fine dining, loved theater, loved travel, loved great music and to realize how in passing through he had somehow gifted me with all those things.
"Disappointment and bourbon are hard on the heart"
He died way to young, at 63 only two years after the above picture.  He had just celebrated his 10th birthday with AA but coming from a long lived family, he had lost 30 years of life to his demons, but at least did get to see his first great grandchild.

Amanda has a line in the song, "It's a sad funny feeling now I'm older than him".  Eventually we all must come to terms with the past and lay the ghosts to rest.  Only then can you forgive the pains and cherish to blessings.  Even if your father had given you nothing more than life, it is a beginning, an opportunity, a road to be traveled.  When you add in all the other gifts no matter how rare, you can finally say, "Happy Father's Day."
So you daddies and daughters
You sons and you mothers
Remember life's over before it begins
So love one another
And stand close together
As close as my dad did
To old Errol Flynn

1 comment:


Here's yer "Atta Girl".