In the last couple of weeks two good friends have lost their fathers to the finality of death. One dad died at around 90 years of age after a series of health concerns. Easy for those around to accept, but, perhaps, difficult for the dad dying. The other died very suddenly at 67, just last night. Easy for the dad who died, but, perhaps, quite difficult for those around to accept. This why I am typing words here today.

In the last year, around five friends of mine have lost their fathers to the ravages of death. And while I do not have a current relationship with my own father, I will always have a soft spot for that old sonofabitch.  After all, he is my only father. He taught me how to drive and he also taught me lots of other things not to do. He taught me stuff I don't need to discuss here or otherwise. But I am a good student, so I'll be just fine.

I am a father myself. A veteran father--a father who trains other fathers how to father. I am a father with ways and opinions. A lot of my friends are fathers too. Most of my father-friends happen to pretty damn great fathers with ways and opinions. And a lot of my friend's fathers are now dead as well. I've known some of my father-friends' fathers. "Real men" with egos and notions.  Men who are ferociously protective of their offspring. Men who knew things. Men not afraid to spot correct a child or someone who has offended a child. Men with context and perspective. Dudes with scars.
Dads dying faster
Leaving us as the new dads
New dudes and old heads
I am pretty sad that my friends' fathers have died. It tears little holes in my dad-heart. I will be sad when my father dies. I will be sad when my friend-fathers die. My child will be sad when I die. We are our fathers' sons. We father the fatherless. But until I die, you want to know what I will nurture, defend, protect, and admire until I breathe my very last breath? Here:

Just as we have immense love for our mothers, we have a slightly different love for our fathers. Just as intense but just a little different. Something to do with vice grips and left tackles; something about learning how to fuck up and still hold your head up high. Something quirkier. Pour one out for all my dad homies.

* All images previously posted.
(emotions not emoticons) 

Also see:
Fortunate Son, or, "An Open Letter To My Late Father, On His Birthday"
Western Pacific Railroad