Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sixteen years ago

my Dad passed away. A few years ago, my local paper had a contest for Father's Day. It was supposed to be about trips you took as a kid with your dad. This was my winning entry.

It was summer, July 1969. I was 11 years old and my sister Kathy was 7. Mom and Dad had divorced four years earlier. Dad was taking Kathy and I on vacation to Punta Gorda to visit old friends. We arrived at Howard Johnson's on schedule and they had the most glorious crystal-blue swimming pool two girls could have ever hoped for. All we wanted to do was swim and play on the pool.

One morning we woke up and of course wanted to go to the pool. Dad said, "OK, but only for a little while." To us, it seemed like only a minute when Dad said, 'Girls, we need to go back to the room. There's an important event happening and it's going to be on TV."

Now the last place we wanted to be was in our room, but Dad insisted, saying, "Someday you'll thank me for this." So with long faces, we went back to our room.

Soon came the face of Walter Cronkite, talking about man landing and walking on the moon. So, from our hotel room, looking down at that beautiful swimming pool, we heard Neil Armstrong utter those now famous words: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

At the time, to my 11 year old mind, it was no big deal. I just wanted to go back to the pool. Years later, I did thank my Dad for insisting we watch the moon walk. I also thanked him for many other seemingly insignificant events he insisted we watch or ba a part of.

He was only beginning to teach my nephew of life's many wonders when he was taken from this Earth on May 13, 1992. My Dad, Herbie M. was a wise man and he is missed every day. Once again, I'd like to say, "Thanks Dad, for all that you taught us."

1 comment:

Liane said...

What a wonderful story! I remember that too, I do believe because I had to watch. I do that to my kids now. I tell them 'this is important, so remember it' and I am sure they will!

That is a great story. It sucks that our dads have to go =-(

Hugs to you my friend!