My father's life and death...In the living Years



Sometimes there is so much to say to our fathers, that never gets said. I heard this song in the late 1980s on the radio on my way to Iowa to see my parents.  It was one of the few trips I made there alone. I started catching these lyrics to The Living Years song by Mike and the Mechanics.  I pulled the car over to the side of the road, just to sit there and listen and reflect on the words and what the words meant to me and my relationship with my own father.

On this otherwise long boring trip from Cincinnati to Des Moines, I told myself I need to reach out to my father, who was 66 at the time, to open up the lines of communication.  My mother had always been the talker, my father was usually quiet and humble.  He was an intelligent man and like most men of his time kept his thoughts to himself.

In his life time, he had been through a lot- his mother died when he was 12 and thus was raised by his father and older sister. He grew up during the Great Depression and some what knew what it was like to go without.  He served  4 years in the U.S. Navy in WWII in the submarine service on the USS Skate. He went to college for 2 years and learned photography.  He and our Mother set up a photography studio in NW Iowa, which eventually folded. It was not for lack of business or talent,but for the difficulty in collecting for the money for the wedding packages after they were delivered.
He went on to find other work to support the family and continued to work until he was 78.

On the weekend when I got to Des Moines, I approached my father and we slowly began this conversation the deepened over the years.  He died May 8, 2014.  I will never regret that I took this step to get to know my father on a deeper level to find out the person he held within.

Getting back to the lyrics of this song, whether you are a son or daughter, take the time to get to know your parents individually In The Living Years.

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