25 years ago tonight I got a phone call...my father had passed away in an emergency room in Brooklyn.
My father was an almost-lifelong resident of New York City, a veteran of the Army Air Force, a single father, a loving husband, a man who liked to invent and..a traumatic brain injury survivor back in the day when there was little or no support for a brain injury.
When I follow the progress of Gabrielle Giffords in the news, I think of my father, and I know a little of the hard road back that she faces (despite the optimism of the rehab center she entered today.)
I think of the many sacrifices he made for me, when I was too young to appreciate it. I think of the many walks we took on Sunday afternoons when I was a little girl. He used to love to watch houses being built. I would walk at his side, transistor radio blaring a Yankees game. He could strike up a conversation with anyone, and his very shy daughter must have puzzled him tremendously.
He loved to read, bought two newspapers daily, and read them on his commute to and from work on the subway.
He loved his city. He gave birth to a daughter who fled that same city as soon as she graduated college (who didn't even attend her graduation, she was so eager to leave).
He would have been 97 years old in July. But by writing about him, he will live on forever (or at least as long as Blogger stores blog entries) through the Internet.
You did a good job, Dad. You passed on your love of history. In some ways I have turned into you. I still don't step on metal grates in the winter because you taught me not to.
I will always miss you.