Dad's still around. For a lot of you, your dad isn't: death or some other form of loss puts distance, sometimes insurmountable distance, between you and him. Seems I've heard more lately from people who've lost their fathers; I'm not one of them, so the best I can do is empathize. And remember that I'm lucky.
Dad's still around, still with Mom (they married in 1968), having worked a 26-year career in the Navy -- at his 1994 retirement ceremony, Mom cracked that "usually by now, a Navy guy's turned in his 40 for two 20s" -- and having found more interests and occupations in the years that followed his Navy stint. He's a wood worker who's handled most of the remodeling of the house where he and Mom have lived for the past 18 years. He's become a devoted cook. He remains a good storyteller. He's always been a voracious reader: he'd bring doorstop-sized books like Roots and The Winds of War in the cockpit of the F-4s and F-14s he was RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) for, to read when he and his pilot had to sit on the aircraft carrier flight deck on Alert 5, waiting for a possible order to launch.
Now that he's a grandfather, Dad's enjoying being a grandfather. He and Mom try to get to Virginia at least once a year to visit my brother's family. He also wants to be around and healthy for, among lots of other things, watching his grandsons grow up: he's a more serious exerciser than he was before, making much use of ADAPT Training in Beaverton. Going there has opened up his social circle, too: more friends and colleagues, because one needs friends at any age. (Whoa, profound, man. Hey, it's true.)
He's still around, and still doing a good job at being a good father, a good husband, and a good person.
He's Thomas Munroe Walsh. Who never added the "Sr." to his name even after having a junior, I think because "Thomas Munroe Walsh, Sr." just doesn't look right as his name. But "Thomas Munroe Walsh" does.
Happy Fathers' Day, Dad. I'm not always the best at showing it, but I love you and I'm glad you're in my life.
By the way, for more good Father's Day thoughts, read Ryan White's essay for The Oregonian about his dad.