Today marks the fourth anniversary of my dad's death at age 92. It goes without saying that I've been remembering his life, remembering our lives together as he and my mom (who passed away so young at 61 years old) raised their six children. Dad worked for thirty years at the U.S. Post Office in downtown Philadelphia and retired when I was still in high school in 1976. Lucky for him he enjoyed good health but I'm sure the death of my mom six years after he retired made his retirement years much sadder and emptier. He lived a good life, though, and despite a few surgeries and a heart attack, enjoyed many years of relatively good health before his body just gave out.
The other reason I'm thinking so much of dad is because of the upcoming Republican convention. Amidst many adults in my family when I was growing up, Dad was the lone Republican. But of course 'back then,' the Republican party was hugely and vastly different ideologically than the party that exists today. I remember my dad talking about President Eisenhower in almost glowing terms. Of course we lived in Philadelphia so he didn't enjoy many election day victories. Still he believed in what he believed. And there was always room in our house to disagree, respectfully.
I wish I could hear my mom and dad's opinions on the current presidential and vice presidential candidates. I cannot believe that my father would have wanted his Republican party to be controlled by what appears to be anti-women and anti-working class religious zealots. And he would have been the first to acknowledge, practically speaking, that over the last four years, the Republican controlled House of Representatives did absolutely nothing to help our country out of its economic recession. He would have decried their lack of cooperation (and patriotism) to get our country, the country he fought for in World War II, back on the right track.
I miss my dad, particularly today.