The Right Words — The Last Words

A wise person centuries ago wrote in Proverbs15:23”It is a wonderful thing to say the right thing at the right time.”

In my younger years the words which blurted and often erupted were hardly wonderful.

Being the product of a Catholic school, thanks to our nuns, I kept the confessional busy!

But there was one time engraved in my soul.

Father’s Day 1982 was and is memorable.

I was working in Virginia and called my dad to wish him a happy Father’ day.

We had an extended phone conversation and laughed at a number of things which a father and son share.

He thanked me for the gift I sent.

We had a custom of sending each the most outrageously ugly shirt we could find. Usually is ‘was a bowling shirt. He said that the one this year was probably the best and worst.

We continued to chat and said that mom was sleeping.

The call ended with me telling him “I love you dad.”

The next evening I was working in my office and received a phone call from home.

When I answered a voice I did not recognize introduced himself as Lieutenant Ryan of the Chicago Fire Department.

He then told me that my dad had died at home earlier in the day.

My father and I had a very full relationship with the things joyful and painful that a son and father experience.

I was far from a perfect son and he was as good as a dad he could be.

He always provided for our family, often working two jobs.

Many memories flood my memory and warm my heart — outrageous humor, telling a good story, saying “hello” to everyone you meet, dancing, giving others the shirt off your back, and a good beer now and then.

I was happy that the last thing he heard from me on our last phone call was that “Dad, I love you!

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