I always think of my father in early February because that’s when the Master of Novices at the Jesuit seminary where I was in my second year called me in to tell me my 45 year old father was dying of esophageal cancer. Dad was a smoker, but he had also been a recovering alcoholic for several years before he died.
In an early post on the religious vow of poverty on this blog site I wrote that in some ways we are our possessions, as when we sort out what was owned by parents who have died so we can decide which ones to keep. My dad was a flamboyant type who loved the bold Art Deco furniture of the nineteen fifties. So I kept two lamps he bought, pictured here, and despite their outdated style they still occupy places of honor in the condo I now own with my wife Mary. One is in a guest bedroom where I often do my reading and writing. Another is right next to our living room couch where we have a drink with cheese and crackers every night before dinner and afterward watch mostly silly movies and T.V. shows.
A third picture (the one in the midde) is of me and my dad in front of the Art Deco style fireplace in the living room where our family was living when I graduated from Buffalo’s Canisius High School in 1956. (The fireplace was unusable because, don’t ask me why, it was open on both sides.) I am proudly showing dad my diploma and he is proudly returning the favor.