bill berry

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Psalm for my Father

Today is Father’s Day. I’m a father and have received plenty of greetings from family and friends. I love my son and my wife, and thank them for helping me be a good father.

My dad’s been gone for 41 years. I was 27 and happy to have at least had him that long.

My dad worked all the time, at least six days a week. I don’t remember him being home that much. I do remember barbecues in the back yard. Whole pig!

I remember drinking and arguing. I remember stepping between dad and mom. I remember running away and hiding. I remember being rescued from the basement by my grandmother. She also left us 41 years ago.

I remember my father being sick and in the hospital. I remember asking him if he was afraid. He said yes.

I remember taking him and Mfanya to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets. I remember thinking he had to do too much walking that day.

I remember he died the Tuesday before were going to Yankee Stadium to cheer for Reggie Jackson, not the hated Yankees. Yes, my father would rather die than go see the Yankees!

My father was wise. He once told me, “Go ahead and do what you want to do. I can’t stop you. But someday, you’re gonna look back and say, ‘My daddy was right.’” A few years later, I got to tell him he was right.

I remember saying, “stop fussing dad,” to which he responded, “I’m not fussing. I’m talking. I can talk, can’t I?” I remember shaking my head, and now I’m the one who is always talking, not fussing.

I miss my dad. I still love him. As my sister said this morning, “41 years but always in our hearts ❤️.”

Happy Fathers Day!