Always feel close to Dad at this time of year, as Mom was making final preparations to be reunited with her O! Best Beloved. Dad was not close to me like he was to my considerably older sister, Mim; she had his affection, while I had something hard to define but precious – I was the only one to whom he confided his exhaustion; for the first time, he felt like he NEEDED a vacation & hoped the upcoming trip to California would be the ticket to feeling restored (he kept silent about the excruciating headaches).
It didn’t wound me that a deeper connection was never possible – even as a kid tween teen, I understood that things in families could be complicated. His times (born 1911) & long-past histories created a distance that could not be bridged before he died at 63; your classic two-of-a-kind who didn’t connect. But my earliest lessons in speaking straight & loving with strength & tenderness, I learned from Dad. And he hoped his children would follow their stars, as he & Mom had.
Dad was not wealthy when he died, but the business he started 10+ years before was hitting serious stride. He was generous with money, love & caring. He modeled prosperity.
The older I get, the more I look to him, gone these 44 years, as someone to whom I can turn in times of questioning challenge celebration. Like John, “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” Today, am thanking Raymond Lewis Lockhart for the gifts he gave as I hold him close.
A musical based on Dan Fogelberg’s music is about to open in Nashville – every night they’ll be singing THE LEADER of the BAND. Sweet…
Dan died even earlier than Dad – at 56, of prostate cancer. Diagnosed in 2004, he thought by his birthday on 08/05/15 that therapy treatments had succeeded. Although he didn’t start writing music again, he left open the option he might. Sadly, the cancer returned & Dan died on 12/16/07.
Dad, who loved Maine sojourns with Mom, would have been appreciated Dan dying at home, on Deer Isle, overlooking Eggemoggin Reach.