Tag Archives: father’s day

Iconic Fathers Wax Poetic

Homer-originalIt wasn’t until 1972––58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official––that Father’s 0509071614Peter_GriffinDay become a nationwide holiday. On Sunday, June 19, 2016, Americans will again honor and celebrate paternal bonds.

This poetic Father’s Day prequel is brought to you with the help of two iconic American fathers: Homer Simpson of Springfield, USA, and Peter Griffin of Quahog, Rhode Island.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Advertisements

All Things with Humor

Richard Talbot

 

Fathers can show sons lots of things: how to buy your first house, how to replace a broken pane of glass, how to cut your meat when you are out in public, but how many fathers show their sons how to die?

In the summer of 1977, he told us that he had cancer. I remember the day when he arrived home with the news. Mom and I were sitting out on the front steps on a warm, sunny July afternoon. Mother sat next to me as I made tape recordings capturing the sounds of meadowlarks in the field across the street. Dad pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. He came up the walk  smiling bravely as he approached. When he got four feet from her, he stopped. Shrugging his shoulders like a man who had just won second prize, he said, “It’s malignant.”

Thirty-five years of marriage afforded them such shorthand communication. Mom rose and fell into Dad’s arms. They said nothing more. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and cried softly. Meadowlarks warbled in the distance.

By this time, my father had been in AA for four years. It was his plan to take this way of living into whatever time he had left.

Earlier that day, when Doctor Duthoy had told Dad that he had cancer, my father asked, “Okay, how long have I got to live?”

“Paul,” the doctor replied, “we take these things one day at a time.”

That’s what Dad knew how to do. That’s the AA way and that’s exactly what he did.

Usually there are five stages that we go through when we learn that we have cancer: first, there’s denial, then bargaining, and then anger. This is followed by depression and finally, acceptance. Dad skipped the first four stages and went immediately to the acceptance.

For this, he was judged to be extraordinary by all who knew him.

There is a certain look, a demeanor that is carried by those who don’t have the cancer. Dad’s visitors fell into this approach when they spoke with him. Like undertakers they’d come, with saddened faces, with folded hands, and they would always say pretty much the same thing:

“Oh, Paul, we’ve just learned that you’re sick. We are so sorry.”

“Well, I’m not dead yet,” was his constant reply. “I think you’re the ones that look ill.”

He seemed awfully brave to those people. He was, in fact, not being brave at all. He had simply accepted his situation, and was going on, doing whatever he could do with the day that had been given to him. With humor, indefatigable humor, he would reply to his sympathizers, “Yeah, the doctor said he’d have to remove my testicles to stop the spread of the cancer. I told him that I wanted them replaced with pickled onions.”

Stunned confusion would wash across the faces of his listeners. He’d go on, “This way, whenever I go past a McDonald’s, I’ll get aroused.” (He didn’t use the word “aroused.)

His silly punch line would shatter the moment and into each other’s arms they would fall, laughing, seeing that all was not lost. Then they would talk. He made his listeners feel comfortable. They each thought he was magnificent.

Continue reading →