Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Father

John Patterson

He did not go gentle...

My father has been dead for forty years as of this month. For the last ten years of his life, he suffered from cancer, likely caused from radiation poisoning that he experienced while doing post WWII research at the Pentagon in 1951. I was eleven when he had his first surgery and ironically, radiation treatments. All during my early teens and, as I was becoming an adult, he was dying -- and quietly raging. He never complained or said anything about his suffering to me. He stayed busy, kept his sense of humor, and took in as much of life as he could. He was a wonderful dad. I was twenty when the "dying of the light" claimed him. Click on the the image above to hear Dylan Thomas read his famous villanelle. I never teach or read  the  poem without thinking of my father.

NOTE: The link was taken down from YouTube. Sorry if you missed it. 10/18/13 MPL

8 comments:

Lyn said...

A lovely tribute to your father, a courageous man indeed, and to Dylan Thomas, a poet of great strength and purpose. Many years ago I saw Alec Guiness portray him on Broadway..more than thrilling!
Bless our Dads on Father's Day!

FireLight said...

Wow, you saw Sir Alec Guiness!
Thank, Bless our Dads! Thank you for stopping by, Lyn.

Catfish Tales said...

How terribly sad, and what a sweet, courageous father you must have had. They don't make sterner stuff than they did with our WWII fathers. My first husband's father was a chemical engineer based in Germany, cleaning up after the war. He came back to the States and died of liver damage 10 years later but thought to be directly related to his tour of duty. He left a grieving widow with two young sons, six and 10. Such a tragedy.
Cheers to your lovely tribute today!

Tom Stephenson said...

Our generation have had it so easy, eh?

Rowan said...

Such a sad anniversary for you but you have the solace of having a brave and loving Dad.

Betsy said...

Wow..40 years! I know you still miss him. So very said when they are gone at such a young age! Lovely photo of him! Thanks for visiting today! xo

Tess Kincaid said...

This is a beautiful, beautiful tribute to a handsome and courageous man. I know he is smiling, Marnie. xo

FireLight said...

Update...Sorry you missed the video that has been removed....currently looking ofr a substitute.

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat