Six years ago this moment, I was staring out the window on a flight from Philadelphia to Athens. I was enroute to visit my daughter who was winding up her time studying archaeology in Greece. My father had died just 20-hours prior.
While his body was being transferred from the industrial refrigerator which housed him, to the factory where they burn bodies and subsequently place them into fancy bags so people can keep place on their mantel or carry the ashes about to be spread into forests or over the sea, I stared out the window of an Airbus A3000 for 13-hours. Mostly, I looked down into the distant ocean. Eventually day turned into night and I begin looking upward into the darkness, to the stars, and thinking about my dad when I finally broke down .
That would be the last time I would have to feel the guilt that comes with having to choose between being a son or being a father. On that occasion, I chose father and I would do it again.
But it haunts me, ongoing, that as I landed in Athens full of excitement and enthusiasm to explore Mykonos, 3000-year-old ruins, and Greek culture with my daughter, that my father lay cold, stiff, and waiting to be burned, bagged, and buried after a life largely unfulfilled.
It stops me in my tracks daily
The unfinished business of a son
And each time I look in the mirror
I see his plans unfinished and his life undone
And if I am the continuation
Of those intentions that he left behind
I try hard not to disappoint him
But in my darkest hours I feel so blind
Yet I wake to another moment
Another chance to break new ground
And the daughter whose eyes are upon me now
Is still unsure about her dad some how
But tomorrow holds more promise
And I’ll hope that I rise above
Fueled by fire and passion
And with the guiding light of my father’s love…
If you’re not already a subscriber, please scroll up and take a moment to do so. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when you push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Dad’s favorite, the great Herb Alpert. Enjoy…!