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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Edward Lowell Barton

When my Mom died in November 1977 at age fifty seven, I was a selfish, immature and broken twenty seven year old. Despite his grief, I remember the self-centered request I made of my Dad at the time -"Give me twenty years before you go; I can't handle something like this any sooner." What a jackass I was.

Remarkably, Dad nearly granted that asinine request. He died on this day in 1997, nineteen years and eleven months after Mom. By then I was a less selfish, mostly mature, fairly whole forty seven year old. And though I've paid tribute to him here on Father's Day, Veteran's Day & Pearl Harbor Day, early today I realized that for the past three years, October 2 somehow slipped by.

If either or both of your parents are gone, what do you miss most? I miss my Dad's curiosity about and interest in words, his deep experience as a carpenter and his speaking voice. If your parents are still with you, why not tell them what they mean to you before they're gone? I have few regrets because I always did so. But how I wish they were still here so I could say those words over and over.


  1. My dad died the weekend of my 14th birthday. Through the years, I have missed him for reasons that seem to depend on the stage of my journey at the time. These days, I find myself wondering how he would have been as a grandfather. He and my mother could not have been more different. She, the Catholic Italian, Brooklyn girl and he, the mid-western Pennsylvania Mennonite. While I still get to enjoy the Italian energy that my mother brings into our lives, temper and all, I often wish that I could have spent time with my father through the years, getting to know the quiet, reserved man, whose genes so clearly come through in my children.
    Thanks for the post...got me thinking and that's (usually) a good thing. d.

    1. d; Thanks for the comment. I was fortunate to have my Dad with me when I became a parent - he got to know my daughter for about 8 years. I appreciate your thoughts and your wondering what your Dad would have been like as a grandparent; I've wondered the same thing about my Mom and mused about exactly that in a Mother's day post a few years back.