My father and my son.

Perry and DadI did something that was so hard for me to do a couple of weeks ago. I said Kaddish for both my father as well as my son together.  It has been hard to say it for my dad for the past thirty four years.  Every time I say it I try to recall him, try to remember the times we had together.  Every year it gets harder and harder as I get older and the memories of when I was a boy fade with age.   It has been devastatingly hard to say Kaddish for Andrew since September.  I cry every single time I stand, thinking about him and how much I miss my son.  But saying it together for them made me think about them more than cry over them.  It was a very introspective experience.

What goes on in Heaven?  My father was there for thirty four years before Andrew was called.  IFWas my father there to meet and welcome his grandson and make the transition easier for him?  Nicole asked that the Angels lead Andrew into heaven, was my dad one of those angels?  Andrew does not know many people in heaven.  Of course he know Dorothy’s father, and I am sure he is holding him, and Aunt Flo and Uncle Cy who loved him dearly.  But he has no friends or close relatives that went before him to help him.   I know he felt lost and alone and dealt with anxiety sometimes here on earth, not sure where to go, what to do, or who to hold.  I hope that did not follow him and that pain was left here on earth.

What I picture in my mind over and over again is Andrew and dad sitting at a wood picnic bench picnic-tablehigh in the mountains talking to each other and sharing stories about me.  They both loved the mountains and this image brings me great peace.

My father only knew me for 16 years, 2 months, 10 days, or 5915 days.  That was way too short to really get to know me, and I know that I really never got to know my father the way a son should.  But we had great times.  We went cross-country as a family twice, we went on many, many wonderful vacations, we learned to SCUBA dive together and dove together for a few years.  He helped me in school, and helped me through my youth riddled with ADD, OCS, hyper-activity, and was always there to help me.  But sixteen years was way to short to really learn me as a person, and for me to really appreciate how much I needed him throughout my life.  All of his memories of me where as a boy, and just into my teen years.

My own son, Andrew, did not fare much better, he knew me for 21 years, 7 months, 27 days, or 7910 days.  He knew me as his father, as his protector, and someone he could always count on.  We also went on many great vacations, some cruises, and he too got SCUBA certified and we went on many dives along with Nicole and Dorothy.  Each and every dive was a great experience.  Andrew and I talked for hours on end about life, about what he wanted to do when he gradated, and about everything from the Beatles to computers.  I too helped my son through a myriad of issues with his ADD, ADHD, stress, and his kidney stones.  It was always a challenge and it made me appreciate what my mom and dad went though with me growing up.  It was a challenge, but I know that he knew I always had his back and that I always was there to support, protect, and defend him.

So now I sit here alone at my table, thinking about them, knowing that my son and my father are together talking about me.  They are sharing stories, laughing, holding hands and smiling, thankful for the time each of them had with me here on earth.  Knowing that they both loved me, and knowing that I loved them both so much  and miss them both so much.  They never met in life, but they are now forever together for eternity in heaven.  This picture in my mind brings me so much peace.

Maybe one day, hopefully many years down the road, I will join them at that park bench and set the stories straight.

 

13 thoughts on “My father and my son.

  1. Jenn Z

    Perry, this is such a beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I’m sure your dad and Andrew are smiling at these words. Thinking of you and your family!

    Reply
    1. Larry Romano

      Perry, there are times during my days when I think about you and your family and the losses you have suffered. Your blog has brought tears to my eyes. The thought of your son and father in heaven together gives me more to think about. The thought of them being together and doing all the things you did with them comes to my mind and it becomes one of my wishes. I’ll pray that they are together. My Mother and Father are up in heaven as well and I know that they would love to have both your Father and your Son over for dinner one night. I also remember your dog, Duchess, my mother wasn’t much of a dog person, but I’m sure Gary and Andrew will be leaving with a doggie bag. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers and I will tell my mother to set the table for six – My Aunt Nancy, Uncle Mike will be there too.

      Reply
  2. Susan Wallace

    Beautiful tribute to both of them. The images you posted as well as painted in my mind are lovely. Keep writing!

    Reply
  3. Janet Miller

    Perry, you have the beautiful gift of being able to put your thoughts and feelings into words. I was so deeply moved by your writing. I remember your father and recall the tragedy of his death at such a young age. I hope your ability to express your thoughts in writing helps you in healing from your terrible losses.

    Reply
  4. Nicole

    Perry-

    That was beautifully written. I am sure your father and Andrew are looking down on you smiling. I believe that once you pass on all the pain ends and it is we who are left behind that continue to hurt. I pray Andrew is rid of any of the suffering he may have endured while he was living. When your time does come I bet they throw you a party up in heaven.

    Your writing is very raw and I can feel your emotions. I hope it is cathartic for you. I think I speak for many of us when I say as long as you need to express your thoughts and feelings your friends will be here to read and listen.

    Reply
  5. Ann

    Perry – I know you don’t know me, but I did have the opportunity to get to know Andrew just a bit. He was friends with my son Greg and would come to my house on occasion. He was always welcome and was very polite. He was always very quiet but a pleasure to have. My heart breaks for you and your entire family. I lost a brother 40 years ago. He was 20 years old. I was also from a small town, Hastings on Hudson. My friends from this town are very supportive to this day about my loss. Not a day goes by that I don’t speak with my brother or speak of him. It’s difficult for those that I’m not as close with….for them….not for me. This is how I keep him memory alive and with me. I also know and feel his presence. Know he is with you and he is so missed by many, however your writings and blog will help all of you. Maybe we will have the pleasure of meeting one day. Until then I will enjoy reading about Andrew and learning more about him.

    Reply
  6. Cindy McMurtrie

    Perry, Dorothy and Nicole, what a beautiful tribute to both your dad and Andrew. I think of all of you often. Although I can’t begin to imagine your daily struggles, please know that there are so many of us who love you and are there to help you with whatever you need. Andrew will always hold a place in our hearts. xo

    Reply
  7. MOLLY

    Beautifully felt and written words.

    I think Perry should start writing and publishing so others can learn the wisdom he has gathered.

    Reply

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