” If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of Giants”, Sir Issac Newton
This is what it felt like when I realized my parents had died and left me here in the present, but looking at the future from the shoulders of giants. I think of them so often. So many things remind me of them. While my Mother lay dying she kept a journal, in it she told my Dad just how much she hated doing this to him, leaving him all alone. That was the only thing that really bothered her, other than that she stated “Well Bill, we showed these kids how to live, now I guess we have to show them how to die.” She was the bad cop to my Father’s good cop, literally. He was a police lieutenant. He was a police lieutenant that read Plato, and quoted Popeye, and only pulled his gun once, and at that time shot out the radiator in his own car. I loved them so.
I can remember asking him how did he decide to become a police officer? Even this makes me laugh- well, he said, the Depression was on …this was during the late thirties and there were some civil service jobs open so he went down to city hall to take the fireman’s exam. Unfortunately he picked the wrong door and passed the police exam. Ergo… a Police Officer.
Never was there ever a more unlikely Policeman. This man was generous to a fault. I can remember a story about him giving away one of his paychecks to a guy on Christmas Eve. I might add this was one of many paychecks. He always worked two or three jobs when I was a kid, Painter, Policeman, Rigger. I can only remember seeing him in a couple of places. Always in my memories I see him in front of the stove, asleep in the tub, in front of the washing machine and reading. Seems he was always reading, But ever ready for a hug. His specialty was waiting till you were completely relaxed (in front of the TV or in bed) and then squeezing your feet, or hugging the top of your head.
So now I’m trying to write a little about both of these extraordinary people. People who loved me so. I think their words and their world is worth preserving. May their words act as a kind of life preserver to those of us still out here trying to float amongst the vast ocean of worries, Job problems, Broken Hearts and Reality. Their humor saw them through the Depression, WW2, and the loss of just about everything they loved and yet, all I can remember is their laughter. These two are extraordinary souls and I am sure they’re waiting at a huge party, saving barstools for us. Just waiting to fill us in on the latest silly stories and wild tall tales, I’m waiting to hear their laughter again. I think I can hear them now, they would have loved this book.
P.S. My rotten stinky siblings and children snuck into this book too. It seems that this reacting with laughter is a family thing, and I could not resist using their wisdom also.