This is the fifth Father’s Day since the murders of my mom and dad on 12 June 2009. Like birthdays, anniversaries with fives or zeroes at the end seem to carry greater weight, and I think that’s one reason I’ve not posted in a few days.
At Michael’s trial last fall, I was asked to talk about my parents. One of the things I said about Dad was that a son is supposed to look up to his father, and that I was lucky enough to have a dad who made that easy. I’ve talked about his seeming omnicompetence (well, at anything except arithmetic), his ubiquitous brilliance, his humor, and his love for his family.
He taught me, of course — he could hardly have helped it — and I try to pass the lessons on to the Spawn as best I can. The love for art, and books, and speculative fiction are all part of our multigenerational inheritance, and I think Dad would have been tickled that the trip the Spawn and I are making to HeroesCon next week has become a family tradition, in some ways perhaps an outgrowth of the comic symposium he took me to at Vanderbilt when I was six.
More importantly, he taught me about trying to maintain a sense of perspective (to recognize not everything is a crisis) and a sense of humor (to survive when it is). I’m trying to pass those along as well. And he taught me that talent isn’t sufficient, and that sometimes — even usually — determination is more important. The first time he had cancer, he said that it might kill him, but it would not beat him. And he lived up to that three different times over the years.
He also told me that an epitaph he would have liked was “Even when he was spindled and mutilated, he did not fold.” I have reason to believe this was true to the very end.
So Happy Father’s Day to us all, and I know that if I do half the job with the Spawn as Dad did with me, I’ll probably have been okay.