Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Bittersweet Father's Day


My father died nearly thirteen years ago, and I find myself thinking of him more and more with each passing year. My eulogy at his funeral did not fully capture the towering presence he was in my life, and he remains so in death. I so wish he had lived to see the man I have become over these past 13 years and hope he would be proud. My friend Al Sturgeon captured my thoughts this Father's Day, including this wonderful song from Chet Atkins:

When I was young
My dad would say
"C'mon son, let's go out and play"
Sometimes it seems like yesterday

And I'd climb up the closet shelf
When I was all by myself
Grab his hat and fix the brim
Pretending I was him

No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say good-bye

He always took care
Of Mom and me
We all cut down a Christmas tree
He always had some time for me

Wind blows through the trees
Street lights, they still shine bright
Most things are the same
But I miss my dad tonight

I walked by a Salvation Army store
Saw a hat like my daddy wore
Tried it on when I walked in
Still trying to be like him

No matter how hard I try
No matter how many years go by
No matter how many tears I cry
I still can't say good-bye

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I spent Father's Day weekend at a mountain lake with my adult son and daughter and their families. My 89-year old Dad too. Lots of time to reflect, especially on my Dad's dad and how sacrificial his life was. A talented man with an aptitude for scholarship and an an aspiration for the law, he set aside his dreams at age 17 to support an extended family when tragedy struck. He died too young with his slender body broken by the difficult physical labor that supported the family he loved, and who so dearly loved him back.
I think perhaps it is time for my son to take custody of his great-grandpa's three-foot level and five decade rosary.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Jun 22, 2020 2:50:46 PM

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