Since the death of my father, I’ve been searching for ways to remember him. There were very few pictures taken of him and he didn’t leave many possessions behind that had any emotional attachment. I have memories of experiences and moments, but none that can stick out as who my father really was. My father seemed like an angry individual most of the time that he was around.
When he was at home, the smell of stale cigarettes and beer hung on his breath every evening and weekend like cheap cologne. Most Saturdays he golfed with his Czech friends and on Sundays he would go in to work or lay on the couch watching golf games which he had taped from the days before. During the week, he often left early for work and stayed late, only to arrive as dinner was ending. Only twice in his lifetime did he go on a family vacation with us. That was due to the fact that his Czech golfing buddies had arranged a ski trip with their families, and my father was coaxed in to going by my mother.
That was as far as I got. Every day a bit more of the bad slips away from my memory. It’s getting to a point that I only remember a few of his quirks.
My personal favorite was when he was in a good mood he would wiggle his ears. I remember always trying to learn it myself. The realization came to me as a preteen-that when my father was a child, he had far more free time to do that than I did. My generation was the start of the entertainment generation. TV, video games, movies, and computers were taking over. No time to learn little traits like making my ears dance.
As I get older, I am glad that the positive memories are coming forward and the negative ones are disappearing. A part of me doesn’t want to write those negative stories anymore. It’s best to stay positive as life goes on.