In the Friday Oklahoman, I wrote about my dad, who died this week four days shy of his 79th birthday. I didn’t do him justice. He was a far better man than I am a writer. But it helped me deal with the sorrow of losing the man who provided me with everything I needed to be where I am today. A good husband, good father, good grandfather, good worker.
Getting to share part of my dad’s story is a perk of the job. Not everyone gets the chance to do that, and I realize it’s no small thing. It’s a perk, but it’s tough, too. Writing about my dad on the sports page , I kept it mostly to sports. But there was so much more to him than just being a sports fan. Truth is, in the last few years, we didn’t talk all that much about sport. Usually it was old friends or family or places we had gone.
One of my colleagues emailed condolences, saying he couldn’t imagine not being able to go to his father for advice. That struck me, because I never went to my dad for advice. And I wondered why. I guess it was because he gave me such a solid foundation, maybe I figure I didn’t need advice. No reason to ask him what he would do; I know what he would do. The right thing.
I skipped the PGA week before last, because of dad’s situation. He was hospitalized on July 24 and stayed in ICU the next 27 days, leaving only for the last 12 hours of his life. Tiger Woods may not pass this way again, but I made the right call. Staying close to OU Medical Center was the right thing to do, because the likes of J.L. Tramel definitely will not pass this way again.
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