Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Hey people,

Well, it's Wednesday, and I have a confession to make.

I fell off the meatless wagon . . . right into a big ol' pile of beef, pork, and chicken!

Over the weekend while we were at my mom's house, I kept realizing that to not eat meat, I was eating a ton of garbage (chips, cookies, crackers, etc.) just to fill in the gaps between meals, and I've gained probably five pounds in the process.

So I decided to go back to eating animal sources of protein.

I only made it three weeks going meatless, but hopefully next year I will do better.

Today is a pretty sad day for me. It is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 57. I miss him all the time, but keep his memory alive by listening to the music he loved, and remembering the stories he used to tell.

In fact, I was reminded of him so much over the weekend by my brother, who is the very image of our dad in looks, mannerisms, and attitude.

Dad had this strange habit of telling outlandish stories (no wonder I've wanted to be a writer all my life) about how he received certain scars throughout the years. He was not the most careful of men, and became inflicted with multiple wounds in his lifetime.

A scar on his arm was received from a flaming arrow during the Battle of the Washita. Another scar on his hand was received during a knife fight, and the scar across his forehead was when Geronimo jumped from a tree and tried to scalp him (it was actually just the tree that tried to do it, but he liked the added flare of an imaginary attack).

So my brother was sitting on the couch with me and one of the twins, when my son noticed a round scar on his uncle's arm. The boy asked what happened there, and pointed.

My brother, without a moment's hesitation, said, "I got shot in the arm."

My son's eyes were as round as saucers. "Really?"

My brother nodded. "Yep."

I shook my head, the wet blanket on the fanning flames of my brother's tale. "No, sweetie. He was hit in the arm with a piece of metal, and the doctor had to take it out."

The child looked to his uncle for confirmation of my explanation.

My brother shook his head and whispered loudly to the boy, "It was a bullet."

I scowled. "It wasn't a bullet."

My brother ignored me, and kept his gaze locked on my son's. "It was a bullet."

I whacked his arm. "Stop telling him that. There was no bullet."

My brother nodded at my child, who still stared with wide-eyed wonder at his hero uncle. "It was. I got shot in the arm by a bad guy at the farm."

"Were they trying to steal the cows?" My son was no longer listening to anything I said, he only had ears for the wild tale my brother was spinning.

So I sat back and listened to his ridiculous story, but couldn't help grinning because of how like our father he was in that moment, and how much I miss all those crazy stories Dad used to tell.

I miss you, Dad.


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