Wednesday, September 20, 2017

William Morris Harris, Jr. (1934-2017)

My sister called on Sunday and said that my Dad died.

We left the rink on Sunday in separate cars on the way back from Detroit, and I stopped in Lansing for a quick bite. That's when I saw that my sister had left a message (unusual), so I called her back and we talked. I tried to make sure she was okay (Dad left when she was 6, I think, while I was still in the 0.8 range).

Then I had an hour to think about things on the way home.

I didn't know what to feel. It's strange, hearing about the death of someone who should be so important in your life, but who was only defined by their absence. I remembered, though, that whatever feeling you have about death is okay.

So I stopped at Smashburger for a shake on the way home. I like those shakes, and I always find them comforting.

My Dad was a disappointed, bitter man. Disappointed about some of his choices, and bitter about everything else. Or not, because he was also a very skilled liar, so it has hard to know what part of the truth you were getting.

He was also a racist, and a real bastard. And selfish. Did I mention he was an alcoholic?

I thought today if I could remember any personal moment we ever had together when he made me feel good, or happy.

I can't.

We fished together a few times, which I enjoyed (he was a big fisherman), but even then, our conversations were awkward and strange. He always seemed annoyed, but then, he always seemed annoyed with everyone.

He might have been genuinely trying when we were together, or he might have just been checking a few boxes. There was no way to know.

So I feel like I should have some sense of loss, but I've already carried that loss. Still, though, it's strange.

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