Title: Reflections on Sam’s Second Yarhtzeit
My Dad was a wonderful man in so many ways …
Intelligent, gutsy, a person that made great strides in the political reform of Bexar County, full of many talents … and as I got to be adult, always willing to protect me by teaching me to protect myself
But several times during my lifetime he did things to me that were simply unthinkable in their cruelty to me
things which hurt me so badly … things which caused me such super great pain
he lied to me, repeatedly cheated me out of money, committed me to accepting debt that I didn’t have to owe, used my wealth for his purposes as though it were his own, and caused me to lose quite a lot of it, paid me pitifully, fired me from Jorrie Furniture on 12/31/71 when I had no way to earn a living (so I went to law school).
He taught me not to trust him in business and many other things and always chose my sisters side when there was anything to be split between us … or any favor to be granted that could only be granted to one of us.
When he was dying, he and I got very much closer in the last 6 years of his life … I helped bathe him sometimes, shaved him almost every day whenever he was in the hospital and in his final illness (and he’d call and complain if I was late, it was wonderful!) or whenever I was at his house near shaving time, cut his toenails which Patricia hated doing so much and oversaw his care in addition to Patricia doing so.
And twice in his life, and then only, in his last few years he finally told me the words I had always wanted to hear and waited my whole life to hear:
“You are a Good Son, Bobby”.
Now he is dead and I miss him.
In Act III, Scene 2 of the play Julius Caeser, Shakespeare had Mark Antony say “The Evil that Men do, lives after them, the Good is oft interred with their bones.”
For me, it is the Reverse … perhaps because in death, he can no longer hurt me.
But for all the Bad that Sam did to me, still he made me into a Fine Man and while I too, have also made some terrible errors upon my kids … like Sam, I always meant well for them when I did those acts … even if I messed up in what those acts did to my kids
and I miss him so badly.
I regret that during the later years of his life, I wasn’t much closer to him after 12/31/71
for I thought I couldn’t trust him and so,
I simply stayed away from him in most ways in which trust was required.
I treated him like a rattlesnake in business and other things … and held him “where he couldn’t hurt me” … and I even wrote a text for my Book on Life about it to pass on the valuable part of the lesson.
Now I see that while I was properly defensive in the business arena, that I was the Big Loser in that Equation in the other areas …
for all the bad that he did to me, the Good he did FOR me, Far Outweighed the smaller, but ever so much more painful bad, that he did me.
It was my Mistake.
Now I believe that I should have risked more hurt and made myself to have accepted that risk … just to be closer to him.
And the loss is Mine.