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Twenty Thanksgivings

The last time I saw my father alive was twenty Thanksgivings ago.

He came up here to my grandparents’ house, where I had been living since my mother passed a few years earlier.

The next night Granny stood in the doorway of my bedroom and told me the news.

“Somebody killed your daddy.”

I was sitting on my bed at the time.  Just like I was last night when The Attorney stood in the same spot she had, leaning against the door frame.

Granny’s lean was to support herself, looking at me in sorrow.

The Attorney’s look was more of sympathy.

I had just told him that I realized that it was the 20th anniversary of my father’s murder.

As I did, the two moments, Granny 20 years ago and The Attorney now, suddenly fused together in my brain and I burst into tears.

Crying is not something I do.

I don’t say that as a prideful thing.  I say it as a statement of fact.

I just don’t cry.

Ironically, to not cry is a behavior that was drilled into me by my father.

I feel.

Boy, do I feel.

But I don’t ever let it show.

I think about what our relationship was, my father and I.

And what it might have been had he survived.

He loved me, but it was always at arms length. No matter how much I tried, unlike my brother, I was never quite what he wanted me to be.

I still probably would not be.

He’s been on my mind all week, and I feel like he’s been with me.

So, maybe after twenty years on the other side, he has come to peace with who I am, and my emotional release was him releasing me to be me.

Perhaps it’s time that I come to peace with it, too.

That’s something I’m thankful for after twenty Thanksgivings.

[ fin ]

Published inTo Live ByWest of Mayberry


  1. It was a good thing to cry. And to feel. Don’t stop til you’re done. Peace to you, Tony.

  2. Wow. So well said of so much with so few words. You may feel tired before you feel better but I think you’ll feel better and what a moment to share with your love.

  3. Thank you for sharing this difficult memory. A good cry can help a lot in bringing closure.

  4. Aw Tony, I know you only cried to get that big hunk of an attorney to come over and comfort you! LOL! Kidding of course! Hope you feel better now and more at peace with yourself.

    • Tony Tony

      There WAS kitchen sex afterward, Sue. 😉

  5. Chris Chris

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing.

  6. brian brian

    We share the loss of a father 20 years ago. Longer in my case. You have evolved in that time, what makes you believe that he would not as well? I do not know of many species that can cry, but thank G-D that we humans can. Wherever your Dad is, he is proud of the man you have become. Believe that!

  7. beaubrummell beaubrummell

    what an astonishing story Thanks for your sharing with us HAPPY THANKSGIUVING
    to you and yourS.O

  8. cb cb

    I was always taught that crying was for sissies, and I was too much of a sissy when I was younger. So I stopped.

    But now, I cry much more. I find it a nice emotional release, and then I can move on.

    I hope it was cathartic for you.

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