Father’s Day

My sister, Martha, suggested that I write an article about my father.  Father’s Day is always a difficult day for me.  Martha posted a picture of my dad and the photo reminded me how much alike we were. The jokes I post at the end of this blog are a tribute to his sense of humor and an attempt to find my own which I lost some time ago.

By some cruel trick of fate, the father (and his father) I most remember is the father who was plagued by Parkinson’s.  His later years must have been miserable, and I wasn’t there to help him through them.  Instead, I lived in Chicago and only caught a glimpse of him on my brief trips to Norfolk.  

The lyrics below remind me of my early memories of my father, and, in the end, I fear reflect my life as a father/doctor.  I also fear that the memories I will leave will be of my latter years, crippled and ultimately destroyed by the same disease that did him in.

My father and mother owned a bar and worked long hours in order to provide for the family.  Renee and I owned a medical practice and worked long hours to care for our patients and provide for the family.  My father never played ball with me, or for the matter, never really engaged in any sport or interest of mine.  When he wasn’t working, he was sleeping. I now know that his Parkinson’s started much earlier than I previously thought, and the sleeping was a symptom.

I did learn from him.  While I was never athletic and did not play on or coach any teams, I rarely missed any games, recitals, etc..  I used to walk out to the front desk and announce that I had an emergency and needed to leave, then raced to one of the kid’s events.  I know it sounds bad, but when you run a walk-in practice, you can’t schedule yourself out.

I also am leaving a written record behind so that when my kids are old and memories fail, they will have my blog to help remind them of who I was before the Parkinson’s and serve as a guide should I have passed this curse on to one of them.  So, here are the lyrics to today’s song and a few jokes to lighten the mood.

My child arrived just the other day

He came to the world in the usual way

But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay

He learned to walk while I was away

And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew

He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, dad”

“You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then

You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day

He said, thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play

Can you teach me to throw, I said, not today

I got a lot to do, he said, that’s okay

And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed

It said, I’m gonna be like him, yeah

You know I’m gonna be like him

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then

You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day

So much like a man I just had to say

Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?

He shook his head, and he said with a smile

What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys

See you later, can I have them please?

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then, dad

You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away

I called him up just the other day

I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind

He said, I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time

You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kids have the flu

But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad

It’s been sure nice talking to you

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me

He’d grown up just like me

My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then, dad

We’re gonna have a good time then

My child arrived just the other day

He came to the world in the usual way

But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay

He learned to walk while I was away

And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew

He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, dad”

“You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then

You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day

He said, thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play

Can you teach me to throw, I said, not today

I got a lot to do, he said, that’s okay

And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed

It said, I’m gonna be like him, yeah

You know I’m gonna be like him

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then

You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day

So much like a man I just had to say

Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?

He shook his head, and he said with a smile

What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys

See you later, can I have them please?

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then, dad

You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away

I called him up just the other day

I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind

He said, I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time

You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kids have the flu

But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad

It’s been sure nice talking to you

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me

He’d grown up just like me

My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when”

But we’ll get together then, dad

We’re gonna have a good time then

Here’s some jokes to lighten your mood.

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