Monday, November 22, 2010


I remember the evening so clearly. I was home from New York City, my father had recently lost an election he was campaigning for while simultaneously serving with the Navy. He was gone more than he was home. It was a temporary thing but clearly it was upstanding and honorable. He also wanted to serve the people once again, as a County Supervisor. He thought somehow that he could do both. He campaigned, he traveled back and forth to Connecticut, he petitioned and walked door to door. I remember walking through the old folks home with him and one lady thought I was his wife, we couldn't stop laughing about that. He was fun, he was smiling, he was proud of his effort. He tried so hard and in the end he lost.

A very good friend of his told him (I'm paraphrasing here), "What did you expect, you weren't here, no one thought you could do both. You didn't give it your all."

My father was completely dejected. Lost. Sullen. He beat himself up. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He loved this town. He loved the Navy. His twinkle was lost. On this night I found him in a frustrated state, a side of him I had never seen before. He asked me to drive him to the local VFW. I asked him why and he barked back at me. I was scared actually, but I drove him there as I begged him to tell me what was going on. I watched him walk up the stairs with his head hanging low. I ran inside to him because this wasn't my father and I was worried for him. I sat on the stool next to him for a few minutes while he stared straight ahead and then I kissed him on the forehead and left.

It's a memory I keep buried, one that cuts me to the bone. I called my brother when I got home (I think my mom was at a meeting while this was going on) and thankfully he drove over and picked him up.

I feel that sullen pain tonight. That dejection and worry. My twinkle is lost. I have beaten myself up and at the same time I am confused as hell. The VFW is ironically at the very other end of the street that I live on. I want to run, I want to scream, I want to cry.

I played with Luke tonight before I made dinner. I wanted to laugh and forget the day. I asked him to never grow up, to just stay exactly as he is right now. He laughed in my face and said, "Mawmmm, I need to grow like a tree silly Mommy." Then he hugged me tight and said, "don't worry, I love you to moon and back and again."

You're little hands wrapped around my finger
And, it's so quiet in the world tonight
You're little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So, I tuck you in
Turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I had, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, and never grow up

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