#fatherandson

AMERICA'S PASTTIME

On our way into the stadium before the game had even begun

I saw them walking together…a father and his son.

 

They were excited, smiling…laughing as father and son are wont to do

They had on matching hats and shirts…the same color…Toronto blue.

 

The son was wearing a mitt on his hand…to me it looked brand new

Hoping, I’m sure, to catch a foul ball and make a dream come true.

 

I saw them at the concession stand where the father gave his son a wink

and said, “We’d like two hot dogs, two french fries and two drinks.”

 

On our way down to our seats still before the game had even begin

I saw them sitting in front of us…a father and his son.

 

They were excited, smiling…laughing as father and son are wont to do

Only this father and son were much older…in their matching Toronto blue.

 

I watched as the son put down his old mitt, stood and ask his father loud and clear

“Dad, I’m going to the concession stand…do you want a hot dog and a beer?”

 

The father looked up at his son, smiled and nodded his head…

“I’d like that.” His voice was barely above a whisper…

"The usual.” He said.

 

On our way out of the stadium…after the visiting team had won

I saw them walking together…these two fathers and two sons.

 

And it reminded me of what I love about baseball…

where the future meets the present and the present meet the past

where families just by watching a game make memories that last…

 

where fathers and sons come together…

fathers and daughters too

where even if the home team lost…and no foul ball was caught

 

dreams can still come true.


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FINDING THEIR WAY BACK HOME

 

In spite of all his hopes and wishes and the many hours he would pray

he watched as the gleam in his father’s eyes as well as his memories faded away.

 

And even after his light went out and he no longer knew his name

when he was but a stranger to him…he’d visit…just the same

 

And he would tell him stories picked from his memory

of how he used to read him books as he sat upon his knee.

 

Of the times they’d play catch in their front yard

how he taught him how to swim

of all the times they were together

just his dad…and him

 

He’d remind him how he loved to play games

how it didn’t matter if he’d lose…or win..

he’d mention all the things they’d seen

and all the places they had been.

 

He would sit for hours…his stories flowing out with ease

and he felt blessed to be sharing…a lifetime of memories.

 

When asked why he sits for hours with a person who no longer knows his name

He simply smiles politely for his answer is always the same

 

“I’m reminding him of all the fun we’ve had

all the places we have roamed…

and since all these memories began with him

 

I’m making sure they find their way back home.”


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MONSTERS BENEATH HIS BED

“Daddy!” the young boy screamed one night, 

his voice was filled with dread

When his dad arrived his son cried out,

“There’s a monster beneath my bed!”

 

His father touched his son’s cheek and smiled, 

“Let me have a look.” he said 

Then clutching his son’s hand 

he peered beneath his bed.

 

“Be careful Daddy! Be careful.” was all his son could say.

“I think we scared him off.” Dad said, “Looks like he’s run away.”

 

‘“You see monsters are good as scaring but it’s courage that they lack.

I have just the thing you need to insure that monster won’t come back.”

 

It guarantees there will never again be a monster beneath your bed.

Then he put something in his son’s hands…”It’s a dreamcatcher.” He said

 

This will only let your good dreams in…it filters out the bad.

It will scare off any future monsters…no matter how big or ugly…or mad.

 

And from that day forward throughout the years

the dreamcatcher worked just like his dad said

and never again did he awaken to find 

any monsters beneath his bed.

 

And many a morning we would awake and wonder…

since he only had good dreams…never bad.

if the magic was in his dreamcatcher…

 

or the magic was in his dad.


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TOGETHER

It was something his father always told him

a truth he wanted known

He’d say, son, together we are greater

than either one of us is alone

 

He’d say, If we want to make our world a better place…

we must blend together every seed of knowledge ever sown..

for together we are greater than any one of us is alone…

 

We must turn our disparities into strengths, he’d say 

and not let our differences be overblown

for together we are greater than any one of us is alone…

 

We must realize how we need one another

and understand something the Earth has always known

that together we are greater than any one of us is alone…

 

He died…but his message has stayed with his son

and now that he’s on his own

He is stronger knowing his father’s with him…

 

than he could ever be alone.


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QUESTIONS FOR THE FLOWERS

He asked his young son what he does in the garden…

how can he play out there for hours…

His son smiled and said, “it’s simple, Dad. 

I have questions for the flowers.

 

“I ask them where their colors come from, 

sometimes I get down on my knees

and I whisper into their petals…

do you dream about the bees.”

 

“I ask them how they breathe, 

and if they ever have the chance

to laugh or play with one another…

and if they sing…or dance.”

 

“I ask them if they have a heart,

if they have a soul…a brain.

I ask them which one they like more

the sunshine or the rain.”

 

“I ask them how they know to bloom in Springtime

and I ask them where they go

where do they vacation 

in the Winter cold and snow?” 

 

“That’s why I spend so much time with them…

why I can play out there for hours…

because there always seem to be more questions

I want to ask the flowers.

 

“And do the flowers answer?” Dad asked

“Do they talk back to you?”

The little boy’s eyes widened…then he smiled…

“Oh Dad…of course they do.”

 

And many times after they talked that day

the little boy didn’t go to the garden alone….

He walked hand in hand with his father…

 

who had some questions of his own.


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30 YEARS APART

 

It was a good dam photo- taken on a dam…30 years ago

The path their lives would take them…neither one could know.

 

His son’s life…barely beginning for he…just 10 years alive

with him…a strong, handsome and virile young father…who was only 35.

 

(With the glowing description of the young father…you all might not agree

allow him some poetic license…you see…that man…was me.)

 

A son and a father arm in arm…in the camera we were staring…

and as I look back on that photo I wonder…what in the hell were we wearing?

 

But this photo also makes me think how, in these past 30 years,

we’ve been there to help each other…to share our hopes and dreams and fears…

 

And when I look at the second picture…as in the camera we once again stare

I’m glad our fashion sense has improved…and now I wonder…where’s our hair?

 

But I also feel blessed to be standing there…free from troubles…free from harm…

standing as we once did…together…arm in arm…

 

Yes, we took two good dam photos…that soothes the soul and stirs the heart.

taken on an old dam…30 years apart

 

And I happily await the next good dam photo…

without any reservations…

without any fears

to be taken on that same old dam…

in another 30 years.

 

 

 

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FISHING WITH MY DAD

I was fishing with my dad one day…sitting on the shore…

I can’t remember…was it the fishing…or the sitting I liked more?

 

When Dad handed me a little stone and said, “Give this rock a throw.”

“Toss it in the lake…and let’s see where the ripples go.”

 

When it broke the surface the water immediately began to shake

and before I knew it those ripples had spread out across the lake.

 

“Kindness is like that pebble”, he said, “for every act of kindness that you throw

will ripple out in all directions…you never know how far they’ll go.”

 

“And as you watch the ripples spread out…this is also true

Some of those ripples from that kindness…will ripple back to you”

 

We both went back to fishing…sitting on the shore

Now I remember…it wasn't the fishing…

 

It was always the sitting I liked more.


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HE WAS THERE

It was his last chance to see his dad…to look him in the eye…

to thank him for all he’d done for him…last chance to say goodbye.

 

On his way he had time to wonder…as his dad’s life was about to dim

what his life will be like without him and how much he’s meant to him.

 

He was a quiet, gentle man, always loving, fair and kind…

So many memories they shared…now streaming through his mind…

 

Playing hide and seek in the backyard, reading in his rocking chair…

as far back as he can remember when he looked up…his dad was there.

 

Having a catch, doing homework, playing games like Monopoly and Clue,

flying kites, going to ball parks, eating ice cream at the zoo…

 

Watching him when he was a winner…and when he failed, too

Smiling his encouragement no matter what he’d do.

 

How does he thank him for all he gave him…all his love and help and care….

and thank him for the simple gift of always being there? 

 

When it came time to say goodbye…he held his hand tenderly…

 

“I’ll be right here, Dad.” He said with a smile,…“Like you were there for me.”

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PARASAILING

Yesterday Bryan took me parasailing…it was a belated birthday gift.

Parasailing: That’s where they pull you behind a speeding boat…and up like a kite you drift.

 

I remember thinking as they strapped me in 

to that parachute attached to a thong…

and the boat began to speed away…

’What could possibly go wrong?”

 

But my fears were quickly forgotten…and it’s hard to put into words

how it felt to fly above the water…and soar among the birds…

 

To feel the salt wind upon my face…as I floated up with ease…

To see the world from up above…as I drifted on the breeze.

 

There is a peacefulness that overtakes you as you ascend above the crowds

a calm kind of tranquility as you mingle with the clouds…

 

And for a moment time seemed to stand still as we sailed in the sun

and there was no-one else upon the Earth…

save a father and his son.

 

I’ve never had a bucket list…a list of adventures from which to pull

because I’ve always felt so blessed in life…

my bucket’s already full…

 

But when Bryan said, “I’m thinking of running with the bulls next year, Dad…do you want to come along?”

I remember thinking…hmmm running with bulls…

 

what could possibly go wrong?


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