Thursday, April 22, 2010

In remembrance of my Father.

Yesterday marked the 14th year of the passing of my father. I remember it clearly as I was enjoying a crawfish boil at a friends house north of Lake Pontchartrain. My wife and I were on our way back when I noticed my I'd missed several calls on my cell phone. By the time I got to my house and played the messages on my answering machine I knew something terrible had happened. They were very vague but urged me to get to the hospital immediately. I had a Corvette back then and needless to say I made it there in no time flat but it was of course, too late.

My father actually expired at his home with my mom looking on. He hadn't been feeling well that morning so my mom made him a roast beef sandwich thinking it would perk him up a bit. She recalls his color changed and in mid bite he fell forward in his plate. The paramedics came and she watched as they performed heroic actions to revive him but she knew it was too late and he was gone. By the time I got to see him at the hospital he still had the intubation tube still in his throat. I hugged his rather large belly, kissed him on the cheek and said my goodbyes.

I tell this story because my dad was only 59 years old when he passed. As a teen he was athletic, good looking (in a Richard Gere sort of way) but had already picked up several bad habits as most children growing up in the fifties did. He began smoking cigarettes at an early age and his taste for alcohol was increasing as his job demanded more of his social life. While I was growing up I recall him coming home late many nights after a large dinner with potential clients and always an after dinner drink or three. It's weird that my dad rarely if ever drank at home; he was the definition of a social drinker. We always had a well stocked bar for parities at our house but I never saw him drink more than a beer or two occasionally after boiling crawfish or doing some yard work.

I now have a beautiful son who will be 8 years old in October. I too embraced the unhealthy lifestyle at a relatively early age. I played lots of sports coming up but after being hurt in a football game I decided not to play any longer. By then I'd learned how to play the drums fairly well and was playing on Bourbon Street and around the French Quarter regularly by the age of 17. I would frequently have my dad to pal around with on those nights. Sometimes he would call me late on a school night to have me come down and meet him at a club where a famous jazz musician was playing. Sometimes I'd sit in with the band, too. My weight slowly crept up after college and save for a few periods of weight loss I've always been in the 240lbs plus range.

If you've read any of my previous posts you know that I was paid to lose weight on several of the really popular diet programs. As with most of you, once you stop the plan the weight comes back on with a vengeance and usually more than before. I've had my struggles with the Diet To Go plan as well. Sometimes you get bored with the food; sometimes you just want to eat something that doesn't come wrapped in plastic in a small black tray. I've been able to stick with the program pretty well save for an occasional carb pig out here and there. I've learned to jump right back on it and keep plugging along. Believe you can do it and you will succeed. I find that with each passing year I miss my father more and more. Now more than ever I feel his presence but really wish I had him to guide me through what has been a pretty rough year. If you read this all the way through and your parents are still alive; call them and tell them how much you love them.

As a post script, I found out yesterday that my 72 year old mother, while on spring break in Destin Florida with my 5o year old sister and 22 year old niece all came back with TATTOOS! My niece I can understand, she's in the age group that does that. My sister who was the 2009 Louisiana teach of the year, I never thought would get one but my mom was the shocker. I'm happy for her though. I'm just happy she is still with us or not.

1 comment:

  1. Bo

    Both my Mom and Dad are gone, I hear you loud and clear my diet-to-go friend! If you still have parents living, I agree, tell them you love them, we tend to think they'll be around forever.

    Just think, your sister will be the coolest teacher around and Mom will be the hippest Granny around.