Sunday, June 21, 2009

"One More Day" ... with Dad

It's Father's Day and, once again, my dad is not here. He passed away in 1975 at the age of 51 ... cancer took him from us.

There's a country song by Diamond Rio called "One More Day" ... and everytime I hear that song I think of my dad. It's been years since death took him away and, yet, a word or song or thought can bring me to my knees as I continue to feel the loss of a man I admired and respected and miss to this day.

He was a simple man, the oldest of five children growing up in Amelia County, Virginia ... a child of the Depression who quit school after eighth grade to help support his financially-strapped family.

According to many pundits today he should have felt sorry for himself and given up on life or blamed society. But he didn't. He served in the Navy during World War II traveling to exotic places around the South Pacific as a gunner on the USS Wisconsin. He came home to Virginia after the war, settled down, married, and raised three daughters. He wasn't the CEO of some company ... but to us he was more.

He was funny, easy-going, and hard to anger ... but when he angered, look out. He was a stern disciplinarian who had a thundering velvet hand when we had misbehaved. He was a deacon in our church ... a Sunday school teacher for the 12-year-old boys ... he hosted them at our house once a year for their annual campout.

My dad loved to camp in the Shenandoah National Park along the Skyline Drive. We couldn't afford pricey vacations so my parents took us to the mountains from the time we were young. Dad was a naturalist before it became fashionable. He was mindful of nature, teaching his girls to leave the flowers for others to enjoy. He taught us to pack out our trash, be respectful of the animals who lived there, and enjoy that beautiful part of Virginia.

We still enjoy that beautiful part of Virginia. At the age of one, my parents took me for my first camping trip to Big Meadows Campground ... our growing-up years were spend enjoying vacations along the Skyline Drive.

Though Dad's not physically with us, I carry his memory with me and honor him by remembering and practicing what he taught all those years ago.

And that's why the Diamond Rio song can bring me to tears in a heartbeat ... if I could have just one more day with him it would be sitting around a campfire in Shenandoah National Park ... one more time....
"One More Day" by Diamond Rio

Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me, it could be for anything.
I didn't ask for money or a mansion in Malibu,
I simply wished for one more day with you.

One more day, one more time...
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied.
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishin' still for one more day with you.

First thing I'd do is pray for time to crawl,
I'd unplug the telephone, keep the TV off,
I'd hold you every second and say a million "I love you's"...
That's what I'd do with one more day with you.

One more day, one more time...
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied.
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishin' still for one more day with you.
Originally posted on Father's Day 2007.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I was holding up pretty well today until I read your post. Now my screen's getting all blurry. We lost my dad in 1978. He was 49. There stories are somewhat similar. While he was too young for WWII, he enlisted after the war and went to Germany and later Korea. Thanks for posting this.