Sunday, February 18, 2007


Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day.
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say,
"Hello in there, hello."
john prine

1984 Part 4

"He probably won't know what we are here for, or what has happened, but I'm glad for you to meet him just the same."
"Oh I can't wait, I know I'll like him"
"He's a great guy"

My new Wife just looked at me with that soft look that says "Of course he is. He must be". The first year...anything associated with me must be great. Its just a shame that she will never really know, about dad I mean, but I don't say that. For now we can pretend that everything is the same as it ever was. I was never sure what to talk to Dad about when I came and I wondered what Mrs. Bulletholes and he would find to discuss. I'm just hoping he will know who I am.

We are almost to the VA Hospital, when new Wife says
"How does this look?"
I glance over and she has unwrapped one of the cigars meant for Dad; she has stuck it into her mouth. It looks like a giant Gobstopper and her eyes are flashing blue as she shakes her shoulders, removes the Stogie and blows imaginary Smoke rings at me.
"Thats real nice Babe, he's going to like you a lot."

He is led into the visiting Lounge, he sees me and I see the recognition in his face, then he spies the New Wife and I see a little confusion.
Dad, its me- Steve!"
"Steve? My son? Well, Ill be damned!"
I give a hug and motion to Wife..."Dad, I want you to meet someone. I found an Angel Girl and I got married and she wants to meet you."
She steps forward with her hug and says her name.

Dad used to tell me when I was a boy that when I got married he would decorate my Car with cans tied to the back and honk his horn as we drove down the street. That was nothing compared to what he would give us today.

You could see the wheels spinning as he tried to make all the connections... but it really didn't take that long for this weary mind to grasp the moment.
He looked at me then back to her and pulls her back for another hug.

"Well, let me welcome you into the family. You are a Bullethole now; you are my Daughter."

Mrs. Bulletholes cannot believe it. But she never missed a beat.
"Is it OK if i call you 'Dad" Dad?"
'"Sure. Do we have any Scotch?"
'They took my Scotch or we could have a Toast"
"No, but we've got these" andn holds up a fistful of cigars.
Big chuckle from dad as he says "Now theres a good girl"

She has heard the stories and the warnings about how far gone this man is. The expectations are that we are going to confuse Dad, and in that confusion there will be a sadness and a sense of loss. Instead there is a sense of place and ...Redemption for all the years of waiting for a "Hello" and paying double for a line that has been disconnected.

Nothing could have prepared me for his sudden lucidity.

Had he been saving it, hidden in reserve for the moment he would need it?

Are we not all Psychic, with our brains operating like Time Machines, where information from the future influences events of the past?

I was so proud of him that day. I always wonder if he knew how good he had done. Certainly he had recognized something significant.

Years ahead he would have another great day...

We sat, and as he talked, the Cigar was used to great effect. At times it was a Baton and he was the Maestro. As he and his new Daughter discussed her career in Sales, it became a Pen writing a new customer a letter of introduction. Then it was his Crystal Ball, as he gazed into it and declared that someday, somehow, he would "beat this thing" and find a way to move closer to us.

His family.

I wonder if he knew he had met a Hero that day.

His Hero, and mine.

I wonder did he know he spoke as a Prophet that day?
Do you close your eyes to see miracles?
Do you raise your face to kiss the Angels?
Do you bow your head to hear Oracles?(to be continued)

(to be continued)


Barbara said...

Oh man, this only gets better with each installment. I love your Dad. I love Mrs.BH.

Mother of Invention said...

I figure he met himSELF that day and that years later he met your son? Don't know if the timeline is right...?
Wow, he sure came through for you in some mysterious way and reason. Mrs. BH must have been like a lucky charm that day.

Annelisa said...

That must've been one of those really great moments, where you just soak it up, then wrap it up in a ribbon to be opened again later, with the same pleasure....

You're right, Steve, there are moments like this with my mum too... and they are great. The times when she's staring into space, my sister reckons she's just adding up all the pieces of what's going on round her, then she suddenly 'gets it'!

Can you post a picture of you in a green wig please? I've been trying to imagine it :-D

Old Lady said...

I am going to be a blubbering heaving mass by the time you finish this story.

steve said...

I really appreciate the interest you guys have shown in this..if you think the World don't care about you and yours, write a little blog and folks that care do show up!