A Goodbye Kiss A Good Story for Everyone

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A Goodbye Kiss A Good Story for Everyone

Post by Saint Vincent's School on Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:53 pm

A Goodbye Kiss

The Board Meeting had come to an end.
Bob started to stand up
and jostled the table,spilling his coffee over his notes.
"How embarrassing. I am
getting so clumsy in my old age."

Everyone had a good laugh,
and soon we were all
telling stories of our most
embarrassing moments. It
came around to Frank who
sat quietly listening to the
others. Someone said,
"Come on, Frank. Tell us
your most embarrassing
moment."

Frank laughed and began
to tell us of his childhood.
"I grew up in San Pedro.
My Dad was a fisherman, and he loved the sea. He
had his own boat, but it
was hard making a living on the sea. He worked hard
and would stay out until he
caught enough to feed the
family. Not just enough for
our family, but also for his
Mom and Dad and the other
kids that were still at home."

He looked at us and said, "I
wish you could have met my Dad.
He was a big man,
and he was strong from
pulling the nets and
fighting the seas for his catch.
When you got close to him
, he smelled like the
ocean. He would wear his
old canvas, foul-weather
coat and his bibbed overalls.
His rain hat would be pulled down over his brow.
No matter how much
my Mother washed them,
they would still smell of the
sea and of fish."

Frank's voice dropped a bit.
"When the weather was
bad he would drive me to
school. He had this old
truck that he used in his
fishing business. That truck
was older than he was. It
would wheeze and rattle down the road.
You could hear it coming for blocks.
As he would drive toward the school,
I would shrink down into the seat
hoping to disappear.
Half the time, he would slam to a stop
and the old truck would
belch a cloud of smoke.
He would pull right up in front,
and it seemed like
everybody would be
standing around and
watching.
Then he would lean over and give me a big
kiss on the cheek
and tell me to be a good boy. It was so embarrassing for me.
Here, I was twelve years old,
and my Dad would lean over and kiss me goodbye!"

He paused and then went on,
"I remember the day I
decided I was too old for a
goodbye kiss.
When we got to the school and came to a stop,
he had his usual big
smile. He started to lean toward me,
but I put my hand up and said,
'No, Dad.'

It was the first time I had
ever talked to him that way,
and he had this surprised look on his face.

I said, 'Dad, I'm too old for a goodbye kiss.
I'm too old for any kind of kiss.'

My Dad looked at me for the longest time,
and his eyes started to tear up.
I had never seen him cry.
He turned and looked out the windshield.
'You're right,' he said.
'You are a big boy....a man.
I won't kiss you anymore.'"

Frank got a funny look on his face,
and the tears began to well up in his eyes, as he spoke.
"It wasn't long after that when
my Dad went to sea
and never came back.
It was a day when most of the fleet stayed in,
but not Dad.
He had a big family to feed.
They found his boat adrift
with its nets half in and half out.
He must have gotten into a gale
and was trying to save the nets and the floats."

I looked at Frank and saw
that tears were running
down his cheeks.
Frank spoke again.
"Guys, you don't know what I would
give to have my Dad give
me just one more kiss on the cheek....
to feel his
rough old face....
to smell the ocean on him....
to feel his arm around my neck.
I wish I had been a man then.
If I had been a man,
I would never have told my Dad
I was too old for a goodbye kiss."


Author

Bishop Thomas Charles Clary

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