Ten Years

Ten years ago yesterday I talked to my dad on the phone for the last time. I had called from my shared office to wish him a happy birthday. With the three hour time difference, I think I called him around 3:30-4p Seattle time.

I don’t remember what I sent him for that birthday, but I think it was a sports-related book. Maybe one by John Feinstein. I could probably check amazon to figure it out.

It was a fine phone call to start. He wasn’t feeling too great because he had an infection in his mouth.

As we hung up, he told me that he loved me. My officemate was there. I was so self-conscious. Rather than respond in kind, I said, “uh huh.”

And Dad started to flip me shit about not telling him I loved him back.

Later I would wonder if he flipped me shit about this because he knew his end was near and didn’t want me to forever remember our last conversation as the one where I wouldn’t tell him I loved him because I was self-conscious!

It’s a silly thing to remember and hold onto. I never questioned whether he knew I loved him or not – he knew. I only wish I could forget that we ended our last conversation that way.

I will say that 10 years later, I am a lot less self-conscious about telling people I love them on the phone, even if someone else is in the room with me. Maybe that was Dad’s point all along. Love isn’t something to be self-conscious about. Shout it out. Be proud to love. That seems like him.

* Quote from this song is on his headstone.

What do you think?