Thirty-three years. Thirty-three years gone and still you play a part in every day in my life and every decision I make. Not that you’d have agreed with them all, but you’d salute my ability to think for myself and be proud that I had.
I’m writing a book, you know, Dad. You’d like it, as you pretty much inspired it back when I was in seventh grade, when you gently took me to task for returning name calling with more of the same. Of course, you’d likely have preferred I kept my mouth shut and just slugged the kid who called me names, ending it right there. I’m not judging that, though; you were a product of your times, as are we all.
Now, as I begin my search for publishers, I encounter you more and more often in my dreams, and I can’t believe that’s by coincidence. Even as I wrote the dedication for the book, wherein you and Mom figure prominently of course, I felt you there, looking over my shoulder, and I could sense the sharp pinpricks of your tough, thick five-o’clock shadow as you kissed my cheek.
So today, on the thirty-third anniversary of your departure, I ask you for your guidance and your blessings as I embark on this monumental next step in my life. I don’t think anyone who knew me while you were here would have ever expected it, but I know you’ve been with me all along, and I’m grateful for your continued presence in my heart and my soul.
Thanks, Dad. I couldn’t do this without you.
Ronald Lee Jarrett January 22, 1935-December 20, 1982