Father’s Day and all is quiet.
That tells me my father is no longer cracking jokes, being silly and enjoying life.
Sam Williams died 15 years ago. He fell, broke his hip, and when they started to take him to surgery, the doctors discovered he had pneumonia. He died about 36 hours later. He was 86, had survived several bouts of cancer, had damaged his lungs with years of smoking, couldn’t hear, and was losing his eyesight.
Even with all that, he didn’t complain. Well, wait, he did make a bit of noise when the car keys were taken from his clutched fingers. He tried to sneak some driving in by insisting on backing the car out of the garage. That didn’t go well since the garage door had to be replaced several times…he forgot to raise it before slipping the car in reverse and failing to check the rearview mirror. And he wondered why he wasn’t allowed to be behind the steering wheel.
Sam was loved by scores of people. His quick sense of humor and corny gags endeared him to most folks, and young and old attended his memorial service recalling his wit, his help, and his never complaining attitude.
Laughter rocked our house at mealtimes. He inspired giggles often at his or someone else’s expense. He worked as hard as he played, and he cussed as loud as he sang. He dominated a gathering and relished being the center of attention.
No, he was not perfect. He loved to play, he loved to kid, he loved women, he loved alcohol for the first 60 years of his life, and he loved to spend money. He had a temper that flared quickly but burned out just as rapidly. It was a miracle that Mother and Dad stayed together for 28 years before she said Kings X.
He was the father of 3 daughters from that marriage, and we’ve learned we have at least one half-sister. Dad’s playing around may have created more siblings, that we may never know about.
As I sit in the silence on this Father’s Day, I recall with fondness his humor and his love of living. I’m grateful that he was my father and for the memories he left.
Thanks Sam. I miss you. And I love you exactly the way you were.