Slow Passage Home
Talking with my daughter Adella about the book I completed to honor Dad's memory, I remarked with a laugh, "Grandpa would say, 'About time you wrote a book for me!', and that would mean, 'Thank you.'" We both laughed.
Writing for Dad was as difficult as writing his obituary, which took me weeks. This was very different from writing for Mom. Mom and I were alike and aligned in so many ways, and her life was one continuous outpouring of love and joy. Dad was also a loving person, but he pushed hard with questions, expectations, and demands that made him seem out of reach at times. He taught me to speak up for myself and to fight my corner, and that often find us being at odds with each other. Always, though, we found our way through and back to the common ground of family.
I appreciate my Dad for being the tough and loving guy he was because he made me think, and he inspired me to think for myself and to work to high standards.
This is the story of a daughter and a father and the journey home.
Shortly after Dad died, I came across a message in the email account associated with my personal blog, Discovery Drafts" that he had sent after reading a reflection I had written about Mom: "I love your writing" followed by his automatic email signature "BEST REGARDS, GEORGE CARLSON." Dad had limited use of his hands following a botched operation about 10 years ago, and he typed as much as he had to and let auto this and that do the rest. Dad had asked to see the book I had written for Mom. I never shared it with him because I thought one or two items in it might offend him, and I didn't want to take that risk.