In Memoriam: Daddy…

Caine: Master, what is the best way to meet the loss of one we love?
Master Kan: By knowing that when we truly love it is never lost. It is only after death that the depth of the bond is truly felt and our loved one becomes more a part of us than was possible in life. — from the TV series, Kung Fu (1972 – 1975)
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My daddy could whistle like nuthin’ you ever heard. And because I was a ‘daddy’s girl,’ one of my most ardent desires was to be able to whistle just like my daddy — but my mother strongly objected, citing the eternal law: It is unlady-like to whistle. So, being who I was, this inspired me to practice whistling approximately 29 hours a day. And daddy never said or did anything to discourage me. In fact, on many a long car trip together during the 1960s (if mom wasn’t present), we’d listen to the radio, whistling along together. ‘Cuz that’s what people did in the days before iPods and tablets. And we, like, talked to each other, too… I think we called that… analog conversation… Yeah, that’s right…

Never once did daddy laugh, seem irritated, or even appear to notice that in my efforts to “whistle,” I was only able to produce one tone, repeatedly, and somehow managed to spit all over myself and anything within a two-foot radius. So, true to my disobedient, unlady-like disposition, I continued to practice until I became so good that one day, while whistling in the stall of a public restroom in a shopping mall, a woman reported to a security guard that “some man” was in one of the stalls “just whistling away like it was nobody’s business!” I never saw that woman, but I suspect it was my mother…

Decades later, I still whistle all the time, to the amazement of both women and men, as only a hardened harlot of harmony could. Recently, a work colleague commented on the perfection of my pitch and said I sound like a bird. Yeah, mama, I can whistle… But that’s not why I whistle…It’s no longer a matter of pride.

Now, every time I whistle, I “feel” my daddy, who passed in 2012. Sometimes, I whistle intentionally, as a tribute to him, or to invoke his presence. Other times, I just find myself whistling along to a song, and because I can ‘jam’ in that fashion, I think of him. And much to my surprise, I feel my daddy’s presence today, almost three years after his death, as strongly as I ever have — perhaps, moreso than ever…

I do not believe, as do Christians, that there is a heaven, or that I will ever see my daddy again. He is gone. Nonetheless, as long as I am here, he is with me; and I love him more every day…

Namaste.