BLOGFESTING TODAY…A CHERISHABLE EVENT

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It’s the final day of a three-day BlogFest the purpose of which is to build a spirit of camaraderie among a gazillion bloggers from around the world who will be participating in an explosion of verbiage reaching out in a collective orgasmic display of galactic Internet Intercourse, after which some cigarettes will be smoked while others make their way to their kitchens for a bowl of ice cream.  Well, maybe I exaggerate.  Actually it’s merely a cyber social event where bloggers get to meet and greet over the Internet and share their wares…you can join in if you wish.  The theme is to write about something you cherish in 500 words max.  My contribution is below.  Okay, so go fest!

GAUGING WHAT I CHERISH…

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My father was a mechanical engineer.  Those are fancy words for draftsman. He stood over a tilted plank of wood each day and produced meticulously detailed illustrations of instruments and gauges that would later be made into blueprints used in the manufacturing of his company’s products.  These primarily were tachometers used in a variety of machinery from submarine propellers to large newspaper printing presses.

My dad was a man exceptionally organized and could anticipate just about every detail necessary for the proper planning of any endeavor.  I am so like him.

One chilly December afternoon in 1982 I had a flat tire. Back then, you could always get someone to fix a flat at your neighborhood gas station. That’s where I was when my father arrived. He had dropped by the house and upon hearing of my situation, he got back in his car to come join me for moral support.

“Did you measure the pressure they put in the tire?” he asked me.

“No, Dad, my air pressure gauge broke and I suppose they checked it anyway when they fixed the tire,” I responded.

“Well, you should always have one.  You never know when you might need it,” he lectured, but in a non-offensive way.  This was a man who could pull just about any tool out of his pocket, glovebox or trunk no matter how obscure its function may be.  I am so like him.

Two weeks later his chronic asthma partnered with a terribly hard-core cold, forcing a 911 call and a subsequent ambulance ride to the hospital.  My wife and my mother were with him at the time.  They later told me how he was digging through his pockets while he was strapped to a stretcher and being carried out of their apartment building. He was looking for quarters to give them so they could get through the automated parking gate at the hospital.  That was so typical of my father’s way of thinking.  There was no expectation then that he would be brain dead by the time they rolled him into the ER.  The medics simply did not realize how bad his asthma was and did not force enough oxygen into his lungs.  He would never gain consciousness again.

He remained on a respirator all through the Christmas holidays and early in the new year we were finally able to carry out the humane decision to unplug the machine and let nature take its course, which it did within just a few hours.

Later, while visiting my mother, she handed me a bag, explaining it was a small Christmas gift my father had gotten for me.  I opened the bag and inside was a new tire pressure gauge.  It instantly became a treasured possession because it not only reminds me of him, but also how much of him is in me.  And I have come to realize it is that, and not the gauge, that is the true gift from my father that I cherish.

*****

Postscript:

I want to thank everyone who left a comment. I was surprised to get so many, but because of the nature of some of them, I feel compelled to react. I sense I failed as a writer to convey my perspective behind the story I wrote.   I had no intention of writing a “sad” piece as many of you have interpreted it. True, receiving a gift from your father after he has recently died is not the happiest of circumstance, but the gift was so typical of his caring nature that I found it comforting and even a bit humorous. I do not think I conveyed either of those emotions. The original version of my posting ran way long and I had to butcher it to get it down to 500 words. Perhaps that’s where some of my disconnect took place. Also, I am sure some of you will be surprised when I reveal that my father was 66 when he died and I was 38. I am 70 now.   I perceive some of you pictured both of us a lot younger. This makes a great point in that love for a parent has no age barrier. I feel the same love for my father as I always have. Whether I’m 25 or 95 I will always feel this same way. Again, I appreciate all the comments that were left and I thank you for your kind thoughts. One final idea: if your dad is still around and you are happy that he is…go tell him!

*****

And while I am on the subject, a cherished thank you to the following who recently took the time to stop by marc’s blog and leave a like:

Margie of Creating Serendipity, Kathleen Neiman, Lanie Hyman Shapiro, Ron Carmean and “Keys 1988” who lives in the village of Meltham which is a few miles down the road from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, UK and probably about as different as you can get from my home here in South Florida, USA…maybe I can visit there some day.  That’d be cool!

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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12 Responses to BLOGFESTING TODAY…A CHERISHABLE EVENT

  1. Almost Iowa says:

    He was looking for quarters to give them so they could get through the automated parking gate at the hospital.

    Man, I love that!

    We had a cop like that at the Minneapolis Police Department. He was totally focused on the little details of life because he wanted to get everything right. Someone once said of him, “The guy has a stranglehold on reality.”

    Like

  2. I am really touched by your story and I must say it is very emotional. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for participating. Beautifully written.

    Like

  3. Suzanne Langman says:

    This is a wonderful story , tell us how many bloggers respond.
    Sounds like the things we cherish most are in our hearts. LOVE

    Like

  4. Damyanti says:

    Making that decision must have been hard, but having been in a similar situation, I know that it had to be done. Thanks for sharing such poignant memories of your father with us, and thanks also for participating in the Cherished Blogfest.

    Like

  5. Lainey says:

    A beautiful and sad post. A loving tribute to your dad. It’s funny how such a mundane object can be full of such meaning (I still have a bus ticket that my grandmother once used!)

    Like

  6. Sammy D. says:

    I am so sorry you lost your father so early and suddenly. Quite a few of today’s participants have written of similar losses and the Cherished items they keep to remind them of fathers or mothers no longer here. Your Dad sounds like he prepared you well even if he had to go too soon.

    Like

  7. agmoye says:

    My father died when I was eleven so I am sad to say, I can never use the words “I am so much like him.” but it sadden me to realize I never really knew my father.

    Like

  8. That’s so sad, and it reminds me of my dad. He gave me a tire gauge when I started driving my first car. His workshop was one of my favorite places to explore as a kid–so many interesting tools.

    Like

  9. Charlotte McDonnell says:

    Beautiful. I also lost a parent suddenly and had to make the decision to remove life support. It’s something you can’t forget.

    Like

  10. Marc Kuhn says:

    Angelika Schwarz: You eventually have to make a choice….Just make sure you don’t do nothing! Thank you for your kind comments

    Like

  11. rcarmean says:

    Our Fathers could have opened a hardware store with just their tool collections. We’re like them: you can use tools and I can spell “tools.”
    Ron

    Like

  12. Angelika Schwarz says:

    “I am so like him”… really touched me. Beautifully written… and I also followed the link you suggested on self-publishing. Now I really don’t know what to do… haha…I enjoy your blog and will follow! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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