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written by my brother, David

Dear Dad,

It’s Father’s Day, and I’m parked on the edge of nearby St. John’s Golf Course where I figure you’re hanging out today. It’s not Brentwood Country Club, but it will do. I already see you.

All the dads are out today playing in their foursomes, wearing bright blue, red and yellow golf shirts and Bermuda shorts, scooting about in their carts. It’s a gorgeous day. The sky is blue and the grass is deep green — we’ve had a lot of rain this spring. A steady breeze is brushing the pine, fir and maple, dancing lightly along the fairways.

I see you walking briskly down the fairway, alone, carrying only your 5-iron, fully content, following your ball. For you, golf was never about the score, your golf buddies , social scene, or networking. It wasn’t even about the love of the game. I get it now. Golf was just an excuse for you to get out in the fresh air, take a long walk amidst the cultivated forest green, find yourself lost in nature, away from the maddening life at home and the office.

You used this wonderful escape to keep your demons at bay. I didn’t see it then. I was innocent. Now you are released to walk the fairways and greens forever. I hear your amends. I know you’re sorry for all the ways you tried to control our lives the way you thought was best. I know how much you cared. Please forgive me for the years of absence, the years of harboring resentments, for the suffering I blamed on you. I’m sorry we didn’t reconcile and let go of the acrimony that blinded us to who we really were.

But I’m grateful for the love we’ve recovered and hold for each other today now that you are gone. I cherish our new-found bond forever and remember you today and everyday. I will remember the good things and good times, and how I adored you when I was very young.

When I see the golfers today in shorts, I think of you, how you fought and won for the right to wear shorts at the club. You were a bulldog for justice and what you believed was right, whether popular or not. You were so very principled. You were so loyal to friend and family. You never hedged or wavered or lied or bullshitted. You spoke your truths. You thirsted for knowledge. Your insights were admired.

And I remember your laughter. On a good day you’d come home in good cheer, your books and briefcase under one arm, so delighted over something or another. And I remember your concern and caring whenever we were ill.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad, as we walk the links together.

David

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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