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Good morning, Dad. You know it’s really uncanny how much we look alike. For years, I never realized it. For I always pictured myself that little boy following in your footsteps, traipsing here and there, doing stuff with you together, just you and me. Now you’re with me all the time. You were so much taller then; I’m taller than you now.

And we look so much alike with every passing day. I mean my face and knees and mannerisms remind me of you, even my humor and all those thousands of catchy sayings, are ready on my lips. I even get out of the lounge chair like you.

I can see myself in you. I only hope I can live up to your friendliness, moral commitment, love for sports and God and family, your like-ability by almost everyone we meet. You instilled in me the skills and love for going outside.

The kids are fine, your great grandchildren are fine (I can kinda see you in their upbringing). Oh, and your adopted daughter is so fine. She’s still beautiful and has stood by me and you all these years.

Well, Dad, let’s get another day going. You know, Dad, I never really knew it till Clint said it, but you “never let the old man in.” I think it might have been your smiling personality and your careful planning of how to grow old. You knew you would someday not be able to “get up and go outside.” So you had your stamp hobby and music, and would “look out the window and smile.” You know, Dad, I still play that old antique banjo-yuke you recovered from your sister for me. What a treasure it has been for us.

You know, Dad, I’m kinda old now, in my seventies, and the older I get the more like you I get - and, well, you know, Dad, that ain’t half bad! Why, your bedside table is still by my side (sighs!) and, yes, I wear a stocking cap to bed on cold winter’s night, without the white elastic chinstrap (smiling).

Well, we’ve chatted enough, I got some writing and songs and a garden to tend to, just like you. Keep me in your prayers, Dad, as I will you. And thanks for the whole family and I thank you for being you. I love you . . . and with that, I turned away from the big bathroom mirror and went about my day.

”Degustibus non es despetondum.”

*from “Poetry on My Mind,“ 2020, p 76

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