Brother, can you spare a dime…

August 31, 2008 at 4:30 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I’m slowly moving from one house to another, with the inevitable sort…

I find two paychecks addressed to my father from his job at the gas station….more than 180 days old, so no way for anyone to cash them.

I find an envelope, not addressed to me, but I examine it.

It has the name of a homeless shelter / AA workshop well known  to my father emblazoned on the front.

And a crisp twenty dollar bill in it.

From nearly 15 years ago.

I’m trying to reconstruct his intentions.  What he intended to do the day after he died.

One thing, fairly mundane, he probably was going to head out from the halfway house where he lived to cash the second to last check. (I found two, but the second was clearly mailed to the halfway house just before his death, perhaps even the day before.)

Maybe he was going come down on the #3 Detroit Rd. bus to downtown, to eat lunch with me, as he did from time to time back then, and cash the check during his walk down East Ninth Street.

And then, probably that night, since I’d imagine seeing me was difficult for him, he’d head to the AA meeting, with that envelope for some giving back and getting some support.

My attorney father was irreligious.  Non-religious.  His immediate family, myself and my mother was the place any money that he earned ever went to, before 1970.  Before the drinking really had its hooks in him.  But that workshop/shelter saved his life, and got him sober enough to work again, when he had not held steady  job since his 1986-1990 stint as a night manager at a Burger King.

So, I’ll bet he learned the art of giving back, there at the end of his rope.  And the part that’s purely speculative.   I don’t think this was the first envelope he’d filled to give back.

It was too neatly tucked in with the paychecks, hidden between them, something his loving, skilled at all issues domestic last girlfriend had never found.  This was separate from the box of memorabillia she had given me at the time of his death.

At the time, I donated his beater car to the shelter, having no idea I had that extra twenty, and they were happy to get it, since the recovering guys often found that getting a job was easier with a car than without.

So, I’m going to send the shelter a check for twenty bucks, and thank them for helping  my dad.  Thank them, because by helping him, they also allowed him to help me with transport, and cleared his head enough to allow him and I to have a decent positive connection, there at the end.

Thanks for the twenty, Dad.  Thanks alot.  I appreciate it.

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1 Comment

  1. bridgett said,

    I like this post. A lot.

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