In January of 1989, he had a major heart attack. He hung on for a week and seemed to be recovering. My brother and I left to go back to my home on the coast. We had barely gotten there when my mom showed up at the door and told me he had died. I was devastated. I held it together though, we had to get back to where he lived, I was supposed to execute his will. There was work to do. I cried at night, when everyone else was sleeping, and managed to hold it together during the day. That is until I talked to his psychiatrist. She told me that he always talked about me, and how proud he was of me. At that point in my life, I hadn't done a damn thing for him to be proud of.
I now have my first college degree, first one in my family to obtain one, and am working on my second. In psychology. Yes, it's partly because of my dad. I can't help but think how proud he would be of me now.
So Winter has a special place in my heart. It makes me cry, and it makes me remember the good times, working with my dad in his shop when I was a kid, him teaching me to drive...
It also perfectly describes my life, "years go by and I'm here still waiting, withering where some snowman was", and "hair is grey and the fires are burning, so many dreams on the shelf. You say I wanted you to be proud of me, I always wanted that myself". But mostly it reminds me of dad. On the ten year anniversary of his passing, I listened to it and I cried and cried. My mom thought I was nuts. On the twenty year anniversary, I couldn't listen. Now, it's hard to believe, it's coming up on the thirtieth anniversary. Yes, I'm that old. I plan to listen to it and let myself cry as much as I feel the need to. There is no time limit on grieving. Never let anyone tell you there is.
So I dedicate this to my father, a wonderful man, who was just misunderstood.