Here is a Man
In stumbling through an old scrap book of writings and photos, I ran across the elegy that I wrote for my Father. It is dated almost exactly twenty years ago, today. Above is a photo of the young man, the first fellow to enlist in the United States Marines on the morning after the Pearl Harbor attack. The following is my remembrance of him.
February 2nd, 1991…
For my Father, my Mother, my Sister,
Remember the way your tears smell? You probably have to go way back when you were very young and your senses were quite new; back to when you were three or four years old. Back then you could cry so hard that all you could smell was the salt. You cried so hard that you gave yourself the hiccups and forgot why you had begun to sob.
Daddy came along and picked you up, way up. His hands were so big that they spanned your ribs. He tossed you into the air and caught you on the way down. He was so strong. His smile was so broad. His eyes were as keen as the edge of the autumn wind. He had features as fine as he was trim and his hair was black. He was the most powerful force in the universe. He smelled like Old Spice.
Heartbeats later, the tears disappeared. Giggles chirped from your small frame and your heart melted into one joy, safe in Daddy’s arms.
Tonight, my mind and heart are ringing like a bell, ringing out for the memory of my Father. I have gone so many worlds since I was born, yet I come again to my one true place at the beginning of the future. This is now just as my Father told me it would be.
My Father traveled with two good dragons: his Luck and his Lessons. One was to learn from and the other was to teach. Tonight, I gather those two dragons ‘round. I dance in their circle. I honor them and my Father’s life. I would pray and today wish that I should make my life with such felicity and grace… that I should leave behind such good heart as my Father bequeathed to me and all those that he touched. I do not pray, but I do dance with my G-d and forever will dance with my Father’s spirit.
On his funeral day, January 26th, 1991, I went to his garden with his shears. By the brook, I clipped three twigs of evergreen: one was for his daughter Susan, one for his wife Barbara, and one for Steven. I put those twigs in his grave as we buried Sidney Solomon and said goodbye, forever.
For days on end, until my own heart stops, until I breath no more, I will endeavor to travel with my Father’s two good dragons. The way of my Father will be alive always and forever and in everyone that his spirit touched and who has the heart and some skill to pass it on.
Hic Finis Est,