Monday, February 09, 2009

The Best of My Love

I sat down at my desk this morning to pull the morning reports for Cathy, and when I took a look at the calendar, I took a deep breath. The date hit me like a ton of bricks.

My daddy would have been 64 today.

I miss him terribly, and I can't help but wonder what Daddy would be like if he were still around to celebrate his birthday. Would Tracey and I take him out to Miyabi's and laugh when he couldn't understand our cook? Or would this have been the year that Tracey and I decided to take him to Nashville, so he could watch The Grand Ole Opry live? Would he be so proud he could burst because Trey's playing college baseball? Would he cry the way my mother does when Cathryn takes the stage to sing? What would he think about our crazy dog, Ashe?

Daddy and I didn't always see eye to eye; in fact, we disagreed more than anything. But I loved him deeply, and I know that he loved me. He was my daddy. He went to work when he was sick; he wouldn't quit no matter how much he hated working at the Steel Mill because he all he could see when he thought about quitting was our faces at home. He wasn't very serious, and I think that's why he and I butted heads so many times--because in my youth, I took myself VERY seriously. I still struggle today with learning to laugh at myself, something that my sister has always been able to do with great ease.

Looking back, I wish I hadn't been as hard and argumentative as I was with the old man. But I can't do anything about that now.

When I was eighteen or nineteen, I heard "The Best of My Love" by The Eagles for the first time. I know that it was originally written as a love song, but when I heard it, all I could do was think about Daddy and how he and I related to one another. Because through everything, that's what we were trying to do--love each other the best way we knew how.

Every night I'm lying in bed
Holding you close in my dreams
Thinking about all the things that we said
And coming apart at the seams
We try to talk it over
But the words come out too rough
I know you were trying
To give me the best of your love

Beautiful faces and loud, empty places
Look at the way that we live
Wasting our time on cheap talk and wine
Left us so little to give
That same old crowd
Was like a cold dark cloud
That we could never rise above
But here in my heart I give you the best of my love
Oh sweet darling you get the best of my love, oh
Sweet darling, you get the best of my love

I'm going back in time
And it's a sweet dream
It was a quiet night
And I would be all right
If I could go on sleeping
But every morning
I wake up and worry
What's gonna happen today
You see it your way
And I see it mine
But we both see it slipping away

You know we always had each other baby
I guess that wasn't enough
Oh, but here in my heart
I give you the best of my love

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I wish I could have loved you better, and for much longer.


stacy o. said...

So sad, and so sweet Josie! He would be very proud of you and the amazing woman you have become!

Josie Thames said...

You're so sweet to say that, Stacy. Makes me tear up a little. I certainly try to live my life so that he and I can both be proud of me.

rita and andy said...

I know exactly what you mean. My Dad would have been 64 this past September. I miss him so much everyday! I too wonder what he would think of Caroline, of me as a mother, daughter, educator, the list goes on and on. Know that I am keeping you close to my heart even though the date has passed...

Josie Thames said...

Thank you, Rita! Our dads have a big influence on us as women, don't they? I know that Mr. George would be SUPER proud of you, and his eyes wouldn't be big enough to behold all of Caroline's beauty!