Monday, October 27, 2008

Haiku: Gift

An Air Force officer, my dad was most comfortable in a uniform. Alas, once you retire from the military, you hang up your uniform and have to find your own style. If I am being polite about it, I'd say his civilian style was unique. If I am being honest about it, I'd say it was bizarre, outlandish and horribly mismatched. Aloha shirt over a white undershirt combined with jams or some ugly plaid shorts. His socks were formal black knee socks. His shoes black dress shoes or brown loafers.

Going out with him in public was an embarrassment, until I reached the age of acknowledging that I couldn't be blamed for his attire. After all, no one would assume that his daughter picked out his clothes, right? Overcoming the mortification and moving into acceptance took place when I was about 23. I had three more years of visits with him on week-long vacations until he died at the tender age of 56.

I think of him most acutely -- and with a big smile on my face -- when I see the outfits Youngest will piece together. Monday, it was a long gray T-shirt, hand-me-down green shorts, black crew socks and sandals, topped off with his Tiger Cub Scout hat.

I miss my dad. And I'm happy to see parts of him in my offspring, three grandchildren he never knew and whom his daughter swore would never be a part of this world.

Bits of my father
make it across the expanse.
Re-gifted features.

Yeah, That's Me Dad, Mates
[Done for One Single Impression. Lots of great poetry there.]

20 comments:

SandyCarlson said...

Tender post. You touched my heart, friend! To think of ourselves and our kids as our parents regifted is a touching, amusing, and powerful idea. Thanks.

DeLi said...

heartwarming..i think your dad woudl truly cherish this post

Giggles said...

Funny how our children can emulate our parents having never really known them. The genes carry on! I'm glad to be able to see my mother in a different light, and through my daughter. I have a new perspective on her!! Great post, thanks for sharing!

Hugs Giggles

anthonynorth said...

A lovely tribute - from another ex-air force person who's kids are not quite sure of my style :-)

Deborah Godin said...

This reminded me of my late mother, who had her own unique style - that was embarrassing to me as a teenage, too! Thanks for a very moving story.

cjh said...

That's really good to know. I wonder if my future kids will be able to have anything of my parents since they'll never have met and what with me being adopted and all... :o)

Beth P. said...

Very sweet--the re-gifting concept is lovely. Thanks for this, patois--

Lovely-

Lori said...

Yup. Your dad certainly was a funky dresser. But that was one of the things i liked about him! My dad...pressed pants all the way, and I don't remember him ever wearing a pair of shorts! What a stick in the mud, wardrobe-wise.
Jason has my mom's hair.

Maggie May said...

Very sweet thoughts. I'm sorry you lost your dad.

fourwindshaiga said...

Good poem. I had to laugh. My dad's favorite outfit in the summer was big baggy workpants cut off just below the knee. We kids called them his "longs" and the funny thing is he was just ahead of his time. Everyone wears them now. But they don't wear the yellow socks and sandals that were the other part of his getup!

Geraldine said...

What a sad but touching story. I think all of us can relate to our parents being 'embarrassing' when we were teenagers and sometimes beyond. For me, it was my mom's obsession with jewelry that got to be a bit much at times. Now I look back and am thankful for her amazing style and grace, not the one extra bit of bling that I didn't appreciate at the time.

Well done with the prompt Patois!

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Pam said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad; I am glad that you see his presence in other family members.

D... said...

Great pic to go with a great 'ku!

People look at my daughter and see my hubby. Some look at her and see me. That's rare. I look at her and see my mom. Funny how that works.

Jim said...

Hi Patois, this is a fairly novel idea. I had not heard it before, isn't this a bit scary?
..

Bubba's Sis said...

Oh, how I love this!

I look at Little Son and see so much of my daddy in him. I like the concept that he is my daddy re-gifted!

Quiet Paths said...

I loved the story as much as the verse. I knew the same embarrassment towards my Dad's attire. Either he was overdressed because he was a pastor or his grungy clothes were appalling. Wonderful way you draw the connections through the generations.

tumblewords said...

Very nice - how often we must experience loss before seeing beauty.

qualcosa di bello said...

your words of tribute are a tender gift to him...& to those of us lucky enough to read them. hugs to you...

barbs.haiku said...

Isn't it amazing how old we must become to learn who our parents are as people and how much they mean to us? I have always loved my Dad, but it was not until I was married and moved far, far away when I really got to know him as a man, rather than as my father. And I love him all the more.

p.s. The man in My Bellavia's post is also my Dad. Janice and I are sisters!

zoya gautam said...

..lovely tribute..many thanks..

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