Yesterday would have been my Da's 69th birthday, had he not died two months and two days shy of it.
Owing to a mood composed of equal parts respect and depression, I didn't post anything yesterday, for all that I wrote up a storm.
And quite a storm it was, let me tell you.
My father's passing -- rather like our relationship over the years -- was not an easy thing to bear.
We loved and hated one another by unpredictable turns, and with equal intensity.
We were constantly at loggerheads over one matter or another.
With the possible exception of "tha' auld tyrant" -- the Grim Reaper himself -- neither of us ever knew a more ruthless, implacable enemy than the other. Perversely enough, though, he -- or she -- who made a foe of one of us made a foe of the both of us.
What can I say of us?
We drank together.
We played cards together.
We gardened together.
We watched and bitched about the inaccurate content of various programs on THC, TLC, and DSC together.
We listened to -- and readily critiqued -- Beethoven, Wagner, Liszt, Dvorak, Tchaikowsky, Moussorgsky, Handel, Hayden, Grieg, Sibelius, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and countless others together.
We also cursed, threatened, and, on the odd occasion, came to conclusions -- quite literally and physically -- with one another.
His "pet names" for me were "m' bairn" or "O fruit of my loins". Mine for him were "Da" or "Dad". As often as not, though, we addressed one another as "asshole", "numbnuts", "stup'naeg'l" or "shit-for-brains".
He constantly bewailed my musical and literary aspirations to my face -- and to my mother's -- but kept a copy of the volume in which my first poem was published,and, as I later discovered, drove several of his friends half-batshit playing one of my band's demos for them.
There is so much more I could say of him, but I can't bring myself to do so, at the moment.
God's own truth: I've hardly been able to speak or write of him at all since he passed, but that's changed.
Therefore -- and with the utmost respect and affection -- I announce the addition of a new category to this (already) hopelessly eclectic blog: "Da."
In closing, I'll reprise the sentiments I expressed a year ago.
Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you.
And I miss you.