In The Summertime

June 1970

It was a hot day (90’s) in Boise Idaho.

I pulled into the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in my white Corvair Monza. Not the supercharged Spider, but nevertheless the dual carbed 2 liter rear engine gem with a bad reputation (according to that Mr. Nader anyway).

The number one song playing on the radio was In The Summer Time, by Mungo Jerry.

I parked and strolled around the grounds, taking my time.

I stopped to look at the flowers in all the beds.

I always loved flowers and colors, but this was a special time.

I thought about my dad, in there, whom I came to visit…

His last wish was that he could live to see the flowers of summer.

He fought so hard to be there to see his wish, and we did too, with him every day, struggling and caring and suffering right along side…

Ten long years, but also so short for me in my youth

This was his time, his last on earth…

And I wanted a moment to see one last time,

What he wanted, to see those flowers…

I have always been told I was like him, hell not like I am, just like him, in so many ways…

So I went in, and I remember…

The long hallways, the quiet…the hospital smell

Then I was at his room, I paused and looked at the number…

Looked up and down the halls

Took a few breaths, then walked in

I remember my mother and two sisters there

Some talk in quiet voices

Then it was my turn…

My turn to step up and be with my father for that last moment…

His blue eyes were not clear anymore, as if he was already passing from this life, time was short…

There was an instant when our eyes met

And for that instant, all was said,

Everything a father could say to a son that had been left unsaid

I looked into his soul and I knew he could see into mine…

And without a word we said good bye forever…

Later that night, my sister came in my room,

And told me he was gone…

I cried, but not for him really

I cried for me, and cried the tears of relief,

That his torment, and ours, was finally over.

This was my first lesson in forgiveness.

To forgive one’s self, for being so selfish as to feel such sorry,

For having to suffer for someone else, and to give my boyhood and move ahead too quickly.

It took years for all this to come out.

When it did I discovered that we all felt the same way, my mom, my sisters, and other family

That it was OK, that I could forgive myself…

Then I could move on, and begin to take my steps as a man.

I learned too, that life isn’t fair, it doesn’t have to be…

You have to take what you get, whatever it is, and you make what you will of it…

Many years have passed and I have gotten to know my Dad more and more through others like my mother, and he lives on in me I think.

Now I am almost a decade older in years than my dad was

Now I am maybe learning these lessons, maybe some at least,

Maybe now I am just beginning to live…

To you daddy, I hope that when my eyes close for the last time,

Then I will see the flowers of summer like you,

I will meet you again, until then…

An image from tonight, to my daddy, who introduced me to photography and so many things

IMGP1169 a

And to the flowers of summer…

IMGP0578 ac

In The Summertime, the original by Mungo Jerry,

Hey does that singer guy look like a caveman to you?

Does to me! Have fun out there!!

  

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24 Responses to In The Summertime

  1. Vieille Ourse says:

    This is very moving Steve. Thanks for sharing some of your past, actually of your life, with your friends. Memories are made of this … and it is good to have them. If I understand well, this reconciles you with yourself and these sad events. Everybody wuld need to do so, but not all can – or are "allowed" to  …
    ((hugs)),
    Katia

  2. Sue says:

    Th is a Beautiful post Steve, it beautifuly write and the pic are lovely too
    Take care
    Sue

  3. Sue says:

    Th is a Beautiful post Steve, it beautifuly write and the pic are lovely too
    Take care
    Sue

  4. colleen says:

    That is one of the most beautiful things I\’ve ever read Steve…Colleen

  5. Cindy says:

    Happy Father\’s Day to you Steve.  I try not to remember those last hospital days of my Dad\’s, but remember all the other great days before them. 
     
    Love the old Mungo Jerry song…it says it all.

  6. Kimmy says:

    Steve this is a beautiful tribute to your Dad. You have me in tears this morning my friend as I miss my own father and wish I could have had those last moments with him. I know your father would be proud of you for the man you grew to be. 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    Directly from the Heart.  Love is profound.

  8. JoAnn says:

    A beautiful memory and tribute to your father.  Thanks for sharing.

  9. elizabeth says:

    beautiful post.
    hugs always. bb.

  10. Beth says:

    A wonderful tribute for your "daddy.\’\’ 

  11. Babblelot says:

    What a heart touching story. Corvair OMG! I thought they were cool.I think you have allot of your father in you. We all have selfish feelings insideI think. We want the loved one longer and feel hurt. Life has it\’s high roads andlow. Your picture I thought beautiful. gray sky with an old withered tree, and justbehind it a young tree that\’s grown up so tall now shadowing the withered tree.You\’re a fine man Steve, your daddy is proud I\’m sure. I loved cruisin to that song by the way. Hair styles were a bit caveman eh? LOL.

  12. REDEEMER WORD says:

    Steve, your grief is never ending, you need to be at peace.  You will see him again if he was a christian and I am sure he is better
    off out of pain and suffering.   We can\’t live in the past, we can reflect but it can\’t drown you in despair.  This sorrow has effected your whole life, you need to let it go…I tell you this as a minister because this is a spirit that can drown you in despair…You need to let
    go and let GOD….Your friend….ELZA

  13. Polly says:

    So moving. And beautiful flowers. I\’m sure your dad appreciates your summer flowers, your thoughts, love and silent prayers. What a blessing to feel you know him better even though you\’re apart. Happy Father\’s Day.

  14. catamaran says:

    Dear Steve,a beautiful memory and tribute to your Dad…my Mother also died in 1970 😦   

  15. Patsy says:

    Oh Steve a beautiful tribute to your dad. Thanks for sharing it with us.  Isn\’t it funny what we learn from loosing a parent?  I think it makes us strong keeping their memories alive.  Corvair? Believe it or not I was 15 and I had a friend, who taught me how to drive using the Corvair!! It was a straight shift too!!! Thanks for making me remember that too, those were good times. Have a good day and God Bless. pat

  16. DANA says:

    That was so moving , I\’ve got tears. I lost my dad and my stepdad, it doesn\’t matter how old you are, you always feel like you\’ve been orphaned. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  17. HEDGE says:

    I can relate to what you went through.  I lost my father 20 years ago.  A great tribute .. thanks for sharing.

  18. Barb says:

    A very moving tribute to your Dad. 
    Hugs

  19. Arctic says:

    Steve, A very touching essay, and a vry forgetable memory!
    i coud feel your soft side though you are a strong man.
     

  20. «»Vosje«» says:

    I\’am Stilllll,  it\’s a story directly from the heart … pfffff
    The world is more beautiful with you!!!
    God\’s garden must be beatiful he only takes the best …
     
    Thnxxx for the very nice story it gives me a lump in my throat
    Thanks for sharing … warmgreetsBenona

  21. Nozee says:

    This piece touches the strings of my heart.Very emotional moving.Thank you for sharing it with us..Thank you.

  22. Sherri says:

    Absolutely beautiful, touching and insightful. 
    Thank you!

  23. Aimee says:

    such beautiful words… am sure that he is proud to have you as his son…and when you leave this earth he will greet you with the flowers of summer…♥~♥ :oD the shortest distance between two people is a smile… :oD ♥~♥

  24. Jacque says:

     
    Steve,
    This is very beautiful.  Thank you for sharing it with us.
    God\’s gift to us – flowers!  Thank you for capturing their beauty.
     

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