Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Government, History, The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 10:30 am

Another oldie but goodie. This may be the most personal post I ever wrote for this site.

Originally published on June 16, 2007.


It’s Fathers Day again. Another timely reminder that you’ve been in the ground 25 years and I’m still here. Not only that, I get to sit and listen to everyone talking about their fathers - what they’re going to be doing with them, what present they got them. Not that I’m resentful, mind you. It’s just sometimes very hard to take when I see the rest of the world getting to enjoy the company of their fathers and here I am stuck with this imaginary conversation. I guess in 53 years if you haven’t learned that life isn’t fair (something you said many times) then you are destined to be unhappy and discontented. So I suppose I’ll have to make do with this little literary phantasm.

Would that it weren’t so.

So anyway…here I am. What do you think? Yeah, put on a few pounds. Come to think of it, I’m starting to look a lot like you when you were this age. I suppose that’s the destiny of all sons. I see fathers and their older sons together today and the resemblance is there for sure. Is it nature’s way of reminding us where we came from? If you could see your seven sons lined up in a row, most of us would remind you of yourself in some way. I hope that would give you some satisfaction.

As for the rest… Well? I’m waiting. Cat got your tongue? Okay, let me start.

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a disappointment. Whatever it is you wanted for me in life (outside of the ubiquitous “be happy”) never quite materialized. I had my chances. But things got kind of…complicated along the way. Moreso than the others, the skein of my life has run pretty much against the grain. Wherever success or happiness lurked, I always seemed to find a way to pass them by. A career lost, a bad marriage, and the “Irish sickness” - 25 years can pass pretty quickly when there are large parts you don’t remember.

But things are better now as you can see. Amazing what a good woman can do for you, eh? And you should know. You had the best. We like to deny it but women are right when they say we’re all like little boys. There’s a part of us that wants to be cared for, that needs the nurturing love that only a woman can give. Oh, we make a big deal of resisting it - especially these days when we worry such thoughts are considered “incorrect.” But then you reach a certain age and you just don’t give a damn what others say. You know what you can give her and what she can give you and you base your relationship on the beauty of the symbiotic nature of love; a mystical beholdeness to each other that goes beyond the physical and enters the realm of the poets - a spiritual linking of minds and hearts that is truly the only valuable you own.

You know all of this, of course. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t experience yourself. But you were lucky enough to find it early in your life. I guess better late than never for me.

I wonder what you would think of my new career - if you can call writing a career. You always thought that writing was a calling, almost like the priesthood. It’s as fulfilling as anything I’ve ever done and too much fun to be called work. Sometimes, I get a chuckle imagining you reading some of the stuff I write. As an FDR liberal, I can just see your head shaking at some of my more conservative diatribes. No matter. You would have critiqued my stuff not for the political content but rather the stylistic aspects of a particular piece and cogency of my arguments. I bet you would have kept me on my toes.

But of course, despite your classically liberal politics, I have you to thank for my conservative ideological bent. All those children and I was the only one who ended up on the right side of the fence. And you had me pegged as a righty almost before I myself realized it when you suggested I read Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind shortly after I graduated from college. You knew exactly what would happen, didn’t you? Kirk’s references to Edmund Burke and other classical thinkers sent me off on an intellectual quest to find myself. I discovered that I agreed with the ideas espoused by conservative giants like Hayek, Eliot, Strauss, and Kristol. But you knew that. And you also knew that the love of learning and books that you instilled in all of us would carry me to my own “undiscovered country” of new ideas and different politics.

I bet that gave you a secret thrill, though. The idea that one of your brood would break with your politics validated your ideas on how to raise children; give them the freedom to discover the world on their own, guiding them where necessary but never dictating what they should think. Your library had books from every conceivable ideological point of view. From Karl Marx to Nietzsche, to Bishop Sheen. Each of us arrived at our politics in our own way, taking our own journeys of self exploration. And we were never lacking for encouragement or advice from you.

It’s amazing how much I think of you even though you’ve been gone these many years. I have Sir George Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony in Mahler’s 1st on one of my Rhapsody playlists and every time it comes on, it brings back a flood of memories of attending the Symphony with you and mother - after spending the afternoon in South Bend watching a Notre Dame football game. I can smell the leaves burning, the memory of those fall days are so powerful.

There are other reminders too - much too private and personal to put in this article. But ultimately, it comes down to this; you’ve never left me. If there is one thing I could say to comfort you wherever you are it is that despite the fact you have been gone almost half my life, your presence still fills my mind. The memories are important. But beyond memory, beyond the fading images on crumpled photographs, beyond the bleary, misty visage I see when I close my eyes, there is you. In my heart and soul. Until I draw my last breath on this earth.

And that, my dear daddy, is a comfort to me.

1 Comment

  1. Can’t really tell you how close to home that hits for me. Thanks. Good call reposting that one today.


    Comment by Justin Case — 6/21/2009 @ 8:09 pm

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