Letters from the heart
|Posted on December 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM|
Good Morning Dad,
Well its been one day and one night since I received the phone call that you departed this life. I am only so glad that in your final days here that night after night I was able to tell you how much you meant to me.
Charity is such and angel.I learned what she was dealing with in those few days what she had to face alone every night.You became her baby Dad.She cared for you like and angelic mother. She knew that even though you couldn't talk to me that I could speak with you. Dad you were a gifted orator and colorful raconteur.So for your ability to communicate I know was your greatest frustration. Where you are now I know you are gloriously disoriented but able to sing and speak, walk and see. I smile at your unspeakable abilities Papa.It was your Mother Leanora who said to you," Because of you... I will live a thousand years!"
Now I understand the magnitude of the legacy of Charles Lindsey McCrary.
Your greatest influence were on your children. Why I remember so many stories of how you disciplined us into being decent kids. You were so wise and patient. I don't steal today for one of the lessons in my life from you. Like when you gave me 30 cents to buy you a pack of Winston's and you knew all I needed was 25c.
Well I thought I deserved that nickel for a tip for such a long trip for an 8 year old. So I helped myself to a candy bar. As I skipped home I just enjoyed my sweet reward until I reached the house. The first thing you asked me as I was gulping down my treasure was, "where is my change?" As beads of sweat began to pop up on my forehead my lips and knees began to tremble. You further asked," what's the matter, 'cat's got your tongue?" Still unable to speak you said," come here boy..."
"Give me my cigarettes and go to your room and wait for me!"
This was my hour of death! I just knew you were going to kill me. I thought well, at least no more school.Goodbye Mom, I was going to give all my toys to Linda and Alfred...but then after 60 minutes of silent torture you walked through the door with your belt in your hand. your stared into my eyes narrowed your view , put your belt on the bed , held me by my shoulders and said, " never ... ever take what doesn't belong to you! Now go on and get out of my sight!"
From that day to this , Dad I have never stolen a or taken what doesn't belong to me.
Another time I remember in North Jr. High School Mr. Tofel spoke to me after gym class and told me that I had a real talent for football and that I had the potential to make it a career. When I shared this with you you calmly explained that it was my choice but when I reach my forties I would have to retire sooner or later from this profession but if I would continue with my music I could decide when it was time for me to retire even if I was in my nineties.
It made sense to me so I stayed with the piano. In fact it was shortly after then you sat me down and taught me my first standard, 'All The Things You Are'.
I didn't know that 300 more songs were to follow by your patient guidance as well as teaching The McCrary five how to sing the great hymns of the church.The Tones of Joy Choral is when we knew you were a choral master.
My whole life as I look back Dad, you were preparing us for life.Ten siblings all with various points of view about life in Youngstown , Ohio. I know many of the choices I have made weren't always the right ones but there were certain rules that you laid down that shaped our personality to do our best to do what is right. I remember when you announced to the family, " In this house you will speak Standard American English!" Many times I have been complimented on being well spoken... because of you. You taught us that real men should respect women and themselves.
You also taught that life have consequences you must accept or results you could create.You encouraged me to study the thoughts and lives of great men and leave the cowards to their own demise. It has only been through meditation that I finally realize what you we telling us. Dad I am sorry that I did not spend more time with you and Mom. In pursuing my dream you never told me to come home, you always welcomed me home. Now you have gone home to receive your reward. I know this is only a time of separation for us. But until I see you again, please help me to hold the answers for my children and their children to all the questions of life they may ask. Let me be as patient , loving and understanding when they don't understand.Most of all let me be forgiving of myself for all the mistakes I have made. If I can be 1/4 of the man you were to me in my life I will still be a giant overlooking the mountains of the world.
Rest Papa and give my love to Mama. Let her know I finally straightened up my life and I am going the right way. After two failed marriages which was my fault for being a knuckle head twice, I have learned my lesson well.The reason why you and Mom made it because you entered into a 'merry age!' A friend once told me that a marriage is like a perfect crystal ball , if you break it , it will never be the same again.Now I will be more careful this third and last time with my marriage and love and be there for all my children and their families as you were for us.
I will meet you in the morning. I love you.
Your baby boy,