The Day the Music Died

With today being Father’s Day I of course have been thinking about my Father (this post will of course prompt Mad Dog to ask me a MILLION times if I’m okay. Which I am and I would also like to say I love him for asking). We lost him to cancer in April 2001. He didn’t get to meet my family, Mad Dog, Gabrielle, Lex or Loki, though we are pretty sure he keeps tabs on the kids. We know Papa John is whispering in their ear every chance he gets. 

I have written a lot about my Father throughout this blog. I miss him a lot. I think he is happy to know we are all okay. He was worried about leaving us, what would become of each of us without him here to take care of things. I promised him I would take care of my brother as best I could. Watching out for Kevin and kicking Sean in the head when needed (one word: COLORADO). 

There are songs that make me think of him, one of them is American Pie by Don McLean. My cousin Paul made me think of it today with a posting he made on Facebook. The part in particular is:
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

The lyric doesn’t only remind me of my father, but of two other men in my life who have since left us. 

The first is my Uncle Jerry (from left to right: My Uncle Kenny, Aunt Betty, My Dad and Uncle Jerry). Of the three he is the most recent to go. He was my Father’s younger brother. He lived in California and was one of the people who cared for my Father in the end. I remember as a kid being so excited when Uncle Jerry would come for a visit, bringing his family – my Aunt Yasmin and cousins Buddy (now all grown-up and goes by the name Paul) and Heather. With Jerry came all the stories of my Father’s childhood. How he chased Jerry in Mission Hill and got him hit by a Milk Truck. How he knocked a block which was in Jerry’s mouth through his cheek. How after my Father and Uncle Bob scared Jerry so much into thinking there was something in the bedroom closet (at an Aunt’s House) that he pee’d on the bedroom rug when he had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night – that my Father got in trouble the next morning for doing it. A trip to California would result in a  tour of San Francisco complete with either a San Francisco Bay Cruise or an Alcatraz Cruise Tour. Our time in California when my Dad was in the hospital we were introduced to Burger City where Jerry was their Norm (Cheers in case you miss the pop culture reference). I still have the gift certificate the folks at Burger City gave to my Dad when he was sick. Jerry was a second Father to my Brothers and I.

The third man is my Uncle Pat. He was my Mother’s brother (the middle child, with my Mother the youngest). He left us first. He passed away on Easter Sunday. I remember it like it was yesterday – answering the phone a my Mom’s, being a smart ass to him before passing the phone off to my Mom. His leaving was very sudden for us and had a strong effect on my brothers, who had grown extremely close to him. He lived with my Grandmother and kept an eye on her. Most of my childhood memories with my Mom’s side of the family are with his sons Patrick and Christopher (and my cousin Amy). My strongest memory isn’t of him alive, but of when my Father died. Just before my Dad left he said that he saw my Uncle telling him to come on (my Dad died Palm Sunday), he said it was my Uncle Pat and my Grandmother (his Mom) coming to get him. It was nice to know he had a friend there to help him. 

Each man played a strong role in mine and my Brother’s lives (I think they both would completely agree with this). They have left us with stories to recall, tell and pass on to our children. Some will be before our time and other will be with our time with them. To my cousins Paul, Heather, Patrick and Christopher I want them to know with each Father’s Day me and my family will honor their Fathers. Keeping them in our hearts and stories. 

~ by Cute Fan Girl on June 21, 2010.

One Response to “The Day the Music Died”

  1. Hearing those stories again brings back a lot of memories. While I didn’t get to see you guys that much when we were kids your Dad was there when I was going through a pretty big transition in my life. His advice and support are a very big reason why I was able to make a pretty big change with my life and the direction it was headed in. He was and continues to be a special man whose impact on this world will be felt for a long, long time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: