Sunday, June 20, 2004

Arthur George...

Third father's day w/out the father. Love you buddy. You had the most dulcet wife and the most beautiful daughters. Jenny's doing Miss Illinois this year, just like Beth used to do. Can you believe that shit? Beth got married last summer. I couldn't ask for a better brother-in-Law. Dan's a great guy. He just completed his medical boards and Beth has one more year left of Law school at Kent. They refurbished a beautiful house in a tiny town called'd be proud.

I was an usher at Beth's Wedding. Always the bridesmaid never the...usher. I'm sick of always being a fucking usher and asking pointless query's. You know, "bride or groom", "straight or gay" "inner or outtie". Uncle Larry walked Beth down the aisle. She was stunning, an immaculate white sheet bearing veiled wings. It was the first time the whole family was together since the funeral...

...You wouldn't have beleived you own funeral dad. Davidson-Fulton said it was the largest Wake they ever had. You would have been embarrased at the number of people who showed up. There was at one time, a two hour wait for people to pay their respects. Police had to be called in to marshal the traffic on Garfield. We received so many cards and hugs from former students. Our living room turned into a greenhouse. And of course, the best part about funerals is always the meat trays everyone drops by.

The funeral itself was overwhelming. Jim Van Buren gave a eulogy (everyone laughed when he told stories about how you used to court mom and your romantic foibles), Jenny gave a brilliant testimony and Doctor Bob's serman was soothing. The funeral procession was amazing. There was about three miles of cars with their lights on en route to the cemetary. You wouldn't have believed it, Dad.

I'm still writing. I was working two jobs; working too much but now I'm back at the library (no Greeley!)and even went back to school last semester full time and made the honor role.
My writings getting better too. Stories still wierd but at least they're more coherent and I'm not as pretentious as I was when I was in high school.

Your wife's doing good. She's hanging in there. She renovated the house and now there's all hardwood floors and even a marble fireplace. Mom and I didn't talk for awhile, but I think gradually we're rectifying our relationship.

Need to tie this up, buddy (fucking grieving...writing this at work and tears are welling)...anyway, you died so suddenly that I just wanted to tell you how proud I was of you. You were a man virtues and of chrachter. You loved for wife very dearly and you did what you could for you family and even though we had our rifts, I love you and still pray for you. I don't think I'll ever have a family (unless my books are my kids...shit...they give me enough hell, that's for sure)but if I do, father, if become half-the man that you were, I'd consider myself a success.

You're my hero, buddy.......

Love you dad


arya said...

somehow i feel like your dad needed to hear that.

David Von Behren said...

Thanks arya (coolest friend that you are!)...Lord knows my dad's heard me cuss him out alot since he left. Two things though===When my dad was on his deathbed, I, for some reason phoned Uncle Mike. I had only a vague notion of what the Baha'i faith was all about and had only known Uncle Mike for five months and though his belief system was unfounded and a bit far-fetched. But for some reason, still to this day inexplicable, I looked up his phone number in the yellow pages and called him with saltine tears incubating in my pupils. My two best friends who refused to leave me that night chuckeld and told me later that "Hey, he's on his deathbed. Can't hurt."

Uncle Mike was totally calm. I requested that Mike say a prayer or something to help my dad when he passed over or whatever and he told me that it was no big deal. he woudl be more than happy to.

Five minutes later (and I shit you not here)my cell phone vibrated again and it was Uncle Mike. He told me that he had prayed for me and that several other Baha'is in the area--none of whom I knew--were saying prayers for my father's pending departure!!!

As I've told you I kinda became Baha'i through the back door. I got drunk one night and wandered into the wardrobe and instead of finding Mister Tumnus and a mideval land where it was always winter and never Christmas, I found cagey old Uncle Mike brandishing a copy of the Dawnbreakers doing crazy things. I'm not saying I became baha'i on my father's deathbed, but, arguably, that's where my spiritual sojourn convened. Two ships left the port that night.

Also, last October I had a "Aryadaniela" dream. We were at my father's wake and for some reason, a priest was administering communion to my father. My father was dead, lying supine in his casket and after the priest gave him the bread and the blood my dead father threw-up, he literally threw-up the body and blood of Christ.

When I told Uncle Mike this dream a day later he smiled.

"Your father has recognized the new religion. He's acknowledged the new messenger." He said.

When I told Uncle Mike this