In Memory of My Father – Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

This post was authored by Brian Nash and posted to The Eye Opener on June 20th, 2010.

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I spend a good part of my week reading and writing about law, medicine and related topics. Then today came along and as I watched the Tweets fly-by wishing the world a Happy Father’s Day (which I just learned is in September in some parts of the world like Australia), I thought to myself, why not use this medium to tell some other people about the dad who raised me, my brother and sister – and the center of my universe.

He was a quiet, simple man of principle. Strong, religious, caring, loving in his own quiet but definite way. He was born and raised in Brooklyn in 1911 – a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan until Da Bums had the nerve to move to California. He then would open his Rheingold beer and follow with whatever passion he could muster his new baseball love – the Marvelous Mets.

When people came to visit, it was my father who made sure they were welcomed guests in our home. Harry – the name he went by but not the one on his birth certificate – was the rock for all the wayward family souls needing strength, guidance or just a kindly smile.

He made the big trip in those days across the Hudson River and dated a girl from New Jersey (or “Jersey” as those of us on Exit 15W of the Turnpike refer to it). A lovely and loving young girl, who was not permitted to finish high school – because in those days education was a waste of time for girls. They married, had three kids and settled down in Jersey for the rest of their days. She was the center of his universe and the eternal love of his life.

What was my childhood like? The best…simple in all respects. A toy or two at Christmas – the best Christmases anyone could want. Baseball season (he loved baseball) - A glance from me, his son, into the stands during Little League and Babe Ruth baseball season – there he was. Not screaming at the umpire but omnipresent with an encouraging smile for his son.

Summer vacations – in a little hunter’s cabin in the middle of nowhere on the Delaware River in New York. Again – simple, fun and filled with love. Memories that will never fade.

He didn’t have to raise his voice when his kids were just being dumb kids. His “look” said whatever needed to be said. After a full day of work in New York and taking the DeCamp bus back and forth to Gotham City – there he was, at the kitchen table helping with homework or some goofy project we thought was the most important venture man or God could imagine. He made it seem that way too.

Having come from New York, he wasn’t the most patient driver the Lord ever placed behind a wheel. But rather than a string of curse words (I never in my entire life heard him curse), I would hear his famous – “Ya Bum, ya” when someone might cut him off on Route 3 leading into the City. Pass a church? – the tip of his hat was never, ever missed. No big show of religion, just a simple, quiet sign of respect that was not lost of me – ever!

When we lost my Dad in 1992 – a deep, dark hole in my life was created. It can never be filled. The quiet man of grace, humor, love and unending principle has been sorely missed these many years.

I’m glad I thought about writing this today. (My only regret is that I didn’t think about doing this last month for the sweet angel of my life – my Mom. Next year I will NOT forget).

If even one other person reads this – then my task is accomplished – one other person will know just a little bit about the man I loved and always will. Let’s tip our hats together and to all dads – but especially to mine – HAPPY FATHER’s DAY.

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11 Responses to “In Memory of My Father – Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”

  1. Tim BaranNo Gravatar says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Brian! And, what a legacy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    Tim – can’t say how much I appreciate you taking time out of your busy life to get a glimpse of my father. Your comment has simply made my day! Be well, My Friend.

  3. Rob GrazianoNo Gravatar says:

    Wow… that was incredible. I miss him very much too, the man I referred to as “Pa”, with his cigars and his tall glass of beer. In the 19 short years that I knew him, he was the one that would sit down with me everytime we got together and just have a long, quiet conversation. He got mad at me just once in those almost 20 years… It was the time I had promised I’d clean the gutters at 12 Roosevelt Ave, and spent the day with my friends instead. He never raised his voice or reprimanded me, but gave me “the look” you talked about, and I never felt worse, because I had disappointed him. He instilled a work ethic in me that I still possess today. We’d talk about baseball for hours and then cap it off with a hot dog and a cold root beer from Stewarts down the street. Pa was a calm, gentle man who we know loved us. I think of him often, and it saddens me to know that my wife and son never got to meet him. They will one day.

  4. Lisa DiMonteNo Gravatar says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Brian. Thanks for sharing your dad with all of us. So many people impact our lives in a special way and what better way than using your blog to pay tribute to your dad. Happy Father’s Day, Brian. Now that you have two comments, your task is doubly complete!

  5. JeannieNo Gravatar says:

    Just found out about this beautiful tribute from Michele. She just had to tell me what Uncle Brian said about Pa. So here I am reading this beautiful commentary about our father and wonderful warm memories are flooding through my mind. You captured him so perfectly especially the comment about “the look”. It brought shivers to my spine because I have experienced said “look”
    a few times. I too think of him fondly and remember always the principles he instilled in us so deeply. They continue to guide me on a daily basis. It’s either right or wrong…there is no gray area. Thanks for reminding me I can still wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Your loving sister.

  6. This was so nice. I knew you adored your mother, but it’s clear your dad was in the same league. tell me though – where did you get all that energy?

  7. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    Laura

    Thanks so much. Yeah…they were a very, very special couple and I was most fortunate to have them as my parents. Means a lot to me that you left such a nice comment. Best…Brian

  8. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    To my loving and much loved sister – Jeanne, to her wonderful son, Rob – so happy you read this tribute to Dad/Pa. A number of great people, not family, took the time to read about him – for which I am so grateful. We had him, we knew him and we loved him. It was just a spontaneous thing I wanted to do today in memory of him on this his day. Love you all.

  9. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    Lisa, My Wonderful Friend-
    Thank you for your beautiful words and kind thoughts. Yes, he did and always will touch my life and that of those who knew him. Be well…and thanks again.

  10. Brian: One of my best friends sent me the link to your blog throught facebook. I was so pleasantly surprised and then to get a great article on your father on top of it was even better. Life was so simple when we were growing up and all the “little” things turned into the best memories. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with me and bringing lots of thoughts of my childhood back to me. Hope you and Marian are well. You have a standing invitation for barbeque on the Fourth of July….

  11. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    Pattie, Wow! What a small world and smaller yet via the internet. How sweet and kind of you to leave a comment. Your key words – “Life was so simple” and the “little things turned into the best memories” captures it all, doesn’t it?!! We’re (Marian and I) both doing well and truly hope all is well on your end too. Don’t know about the 4th yet but invite is much appreciated if we are there. We simply have to get together some time soon if the 4th doesn’t pan out. Be well…and again, many thanks. Best – Brian

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