Friday, May 12, 2006

Celebrate Today

My Dad would have loved my kids. They remind me of him, the disparate parts of his personality. All three share his love of life.

My oldest son is a thinker who analyzes everything. That was my Dad in quiet moments.

My younger son, the middle child, is the slapstick comedian. Both boys are popular with their friends, much more than I was at their ages. My father (and his outrageous sense of humor) was the life of every party.

My daughter is as smart as her brothers, maybe smarter. She's smarter than I am, and she knows it. Her blue eyes sparkle with mischief. That smart, mischievous sparkle was my Dad every day of his life.

I wish the kids and the Saint could have met him.

I've outlived him. I'm going to be 36 in July, but 36 will be a piece of cake. 33 was the hardest birthday I ever experienced.

My Dad died at 32. My oldest is almost 3 years older than I was when my Dad died. That was more than 25 years ago.

Wherever he is, he's 58 today.

I can choose to brood, or I can choose to celebrate. I know what he would have chosen, so I'll celebrate, too.

I'll celebrate his love of the Yankees, even though, as a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation, I'll hate the Yankees every minute of every day, forever. Loving the Red Sox taught me adversity and pushed me to root for the underdog. And yes, I cried when the Sox finally won the World Series. But beating the Yankees to get there was even better. Sorry, Dad.

I'll celebrate his love of Rock and Roll. He was a crazy dancer. I mean: Crazy Dancer. And the World's Worst Singer Ever. Unfortunately, I inherited only one of those titles.

I'll celebrate his wit and his intelligence and his love of History. I'll celebrate his making me a Democrat. (My mother helped.) In fact, one of my earliest memories is of sitting on his shoulders as I held a George McGovern sign over my head.

I'll celebrate his spontaneity. He'd see a friend. He'd start talking. They'd have a beer. Another friend would stop by and join them. Then another. Within an hour, they'd be cooking on the grill. Twenty or thirty people would end up in our back yard. The party would go all night. I'm glad I inherited this gene. The Saint is not.

I'll celebrate his love of reading and of great books, and I'll celebrate his other attributes privately.

Someday, I'll meet him Further On Up the Road.

And today?

And today....

Today, I'll be happy, Damn it, because that's what he would have wanted.

But I don't have to like it.

Adam

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14 Comments:

Anonymous jamie ford said...

Nice post Adam. There's definitely a touch of melancholy in the air. Jess Riley's blog was about "processing loss" this week as well.

I lost both by parents a couple of years ago, about a year apart. Even though I'm one of five kids, I wrote both of their obituaries. Gave both of their eulogies.

And even though a few years have passed, I still get some tax form or retirement fund paper sent to me as a strange relic. It's a surreal thing.

2:23 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Thanks, Jamie.

I read your blog about your friend Jon, and Jess's blog about friends who've lost parents... Melancholy is the right word.

And I'm almost 26 years down the road.

Adam

5:25 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

He'd see a friend. He'd start talking. They'd have a beer. Another friend would stop by and join them. Then another. Within an hour, they'd be cooking on the grill. Twenty or thirty people would end up in our back yard.

This is the BEST bit. I'm glad you're just like him, Adam. And I'll bet he's be damned proud to see it in you.

6:34 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Me, too.

7:34 PM, May 12, 2006  
Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Adam, I'm sure your kids know your dad through you. I just lost my dad over Christmas, and I miss him. One of the reasons I got off my butt this year and started querying. Good parents are hard to come by - even if they are taken away too soon, their impact is a lifetime.

Thanks for this post.

12:49 AM, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Adam, my grandfather died in World War II when my dad and his twin brother were just 9 years old. My dad didn't talk about it, nor did his siblings, for nearly 60 years. Except for a single photo of him in uniform, I knew little about my grandfather until recently.

Someone making a television movie about the seaship my grandfather died on contacted our family a few years ago. Eventually, the full story came out - a story of heroism, patriotism, romance and religious faith - and I started a book about my grandfather.

My son and I actually cried over my grandfather's memorial in Battery Park even though neither of us had met him.

Blood runs deep. Writing is good.

9:24 AM, May 13, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Dana--

Sorry to hear about your dad. That sucks whenever it happens, at any age.

Elizabeth--

Fascinating story. Thanks so much for sharing.

Adam

9:30 AM, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Adam, your story has really moved me. Thank you for being brave enough to write about it.

12:48 PM, May 13, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Thanks, Elizabeth.

I'm not sure bravery had anything to do with it, but I appreciate your kind words.

Adam

5:20 PM, May 13, 2006  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Hi Adam,

What a touching post. I'm so sorry to hear your Dad is no longer with you, but you've certainly written a wonderful tribute.

(Incidentally, one of my earliest memories is of being teased by the other kids at my daycare because I told them my parents voted for Jimmy Carter; their parents had all voted for Reagan. :)

1:50 PM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

"(Incidentally, one of my earliest memories is of being teased by the other kids at my daycare because I told them my parents voted for Jimmy Carter; their parents had all voted for Reagan. :)"

Hey, Jess--

I was one of three people in my first grade class of 20 or so to vote for Carter against Ford in the straw poll, and the only kid in the entire fifth grade to vote for Carter over Reagan in that straw poll, so I'm in good company.

Thanks for your kind words. Feel free to visit whenever.

Adam

2:28 PM, May 15, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Adam, I discovered your blog with thanks to Jim Atwell. We are central NY transplants living in southeastern Mass., and count Cooperstown and Fly Creek among our favorite places on earth. We would love to one day return to live (my spouse and I met at a camp on the lake), but we now satisfy ourselves with too short visits. Anyway, I have checked in to read a few times, but was so moved by this piece I finally had to pause long enough to comment! For me, the missing piece is my mother, and I often think about how my experience of parenting would have been different had she been here. I was part of a Mother's Day blog tribute and wrote about all the not-so-coincidental ways I have found her in all of the new spaces in my life. May you continue to find your dad in the many pleasures of being alive. It is just what they would ask of us, isn't it?

10:34 PM, May 23, 2006  
Blogger Adam Hurtubise said...

Jennifer--

Thanks so much for your touching comments.

Please come back and visit any time, and do let me know when you're heading toward Cooperstown.

Adam

9:53 AM, May 24, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Heading there this weekend! My in-laws live in Norwich, but we always make time to sit by the lake, walk the streets, and stop in at the cider mill. It is a small piece of heaven for me....

2:53 PM, May 24, 2006  

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