Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ONE more day

You would think I would lie about my Dad. I suppose I should say he was so perfect. He was not. He was a mess in many ways. However, I LOVED him more than I can say. Today’s Oprah show was about Mitch Albom’s new book “For One More Day”. The book asks what you would want to do with a loved one who has died if you had ONE more day with him or her. For me this was an easy vision. My dad died more than ten years ago, yet it still hurts just as much and as hard as if it were today. I miss him in a way that is indescribable. Even though he was not an ideal person and had many flaws, I related to him more than anyone on earth.
If I had ONE more day with him, I know what we would do together. I would go visit his house in East Detroit. I would drive past 8 Mile Road via Gratiot Ave. I would make a U-Turn after passing the huge sculpture (advertising oddity) of the steer on the meat market. I would walk into his house and he would be sitting there sipping his second, third, fourth? beer. He would laugh and tell me to go get my own beer out of the frig. I would do so. I would then sit at the vintage linoleum print stainless steel dining table and ask “So what’s up?” As soon as he started talking, I would start laughing. He was SO FUNNY!! He would fill me with stories about work or show me one of his recent “projects”. He was SO CREATIVE!! He was not well educated. He didn’t know about ART. He just made things. His art was very simple and without taste. Things like plastic violins mounted on black velvet thrilled him. His van immersed in red plastic upholstery with rivets was his nirvana. He would always boast and be so proud of his newest creation. I loved that part of him. I realized I got my creativity from his genes. He didn’t understand my art. He didn’t even graduate from high school. Yet, he KNEW. Each time I would visit him, he would always have some found objects, stacks of paper, or some box of materials he had saved for me to use in my art. Even though my art was so foreign to him, with his simple intellect, he had the primal knowledge of creativity and knew I needed stuff to create.
Gosh, I love you so much Daddy. I miss you.


gilda said...

Thanks, Sheree, for this post. I just happened to read it today, December 7, which was my Dad's birthday. He died 20 years ago July, and would have been 87 today.

Sheree Rensel said...

Yes Gilda. I remember that time very well. I can't say anymore because I will start crying.
Love ya dearly!

Sheree Rensel said...

SHIT!! I started crying anyway!! Oh well! That is what I get for writing a post like this. Hidden tears have a way to immerge. Don't they?

Tracy said...

Such a nice post, Sheree, and I am such a jerk because I am commenting in order to let you know that I have done something so trivial as to tag you. You should just ignore me, but if you don't you can check my blog for details.

I think you are great and I really enjoy your blog. Which is why I have tagged you.

Sheree Rensel said...

I think it is a total honor you would read my blog and tag it. That is really nice of you. I am glad I can write things that can be appreciated by others. This is such a busy time, I feel delinquent in my posts. I will be writing more soon.
Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

Lurking can be fun, or heartbreaking. My apologies, no offense intended.
I appreciate your perspective, and am glad there is another who remembers ANYTHING else about ELW besides his beer.
His humor and creativity and take-no-BS attitude seem so much more important now than his battle with private demons.


PS- That violin was made from card stock pieces he designed and put together like a model, then layered in padding cement. Do you remember the Model T?

Sheree Rensel said...

It would be impossible for me to deny or forget his humor, creativity, and take no BS attitude because I am a walking embodiment of all those traits. The older I get the more I remind myself of him. My art is from his creativity; my tenacity and ability to survive despite the odds is another inheritance; and even writing posts for this blog is a gift akin to his "at the bar" storytelling skills. Luckily, my own hereditary demons have been bolstered by the angels. I believe this has been the case to assure the goodness of ELW will live on.
Yes, I remember his Model T. In fact, I think I remember much too much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply.
I have read much of your writing and found it honest, funny, and insightful. I truly wish Dad could read this and would have had the chance to express himself in such a fashion or in a physical art. Despite his lack of formal education, he had a very quick mind and perfectionistic bent when it came to creating things. My own son inherited many of the same genes, good and bad, and I pray daily he never gives in to his own demons.