My parents had different styles and, nine times out of ten (maybe more), I would go to my dad. Whatever the issue—be it my screw up or life’s circumstance, his black and white comfort mandated healing. It was just that simple.

“Sometimes life ISN’T fair,” he said, moments after Jon Scott’s father blew the call. It was only a game, he reasoned, as we picked up our bats; there were a lot of games left, he reminded— before surprising us with an impromptu pit stop at Victory Park’s carnival.

“This hurts me more than it hurts you, “ said my father. “Some day we’ll look back at this and laugh”.

Then tears dried and life went on.

“Life ISN’T fair,” he counseled years later. It was the Vietnam Era and a soldier— his soldier — was tied to a barracks and mourning a romance.
“Yeah, but—“
“Grow up, Little Boy,” said my father. “Oh…and I’m flying out. Will be there tomorrow.”
(Twenty-four hours later, fluorescent short-sleeves and all, he’d light up San Antonio’s Zoo).

“This hurts me more than it hurts you, “ he assured, (as if he’d lost the girl). “I promise you, someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.”

And tears dried, on both of us — and life went on.

My Dad had the answer for everything. Always. There were good guys and bad guys. Good fortune and bad breaks. Broken bat singles, dying quails that fell in and always—yes ALWAYS– the next at bat.

So our tears dried—every drop over every year. And we looked back laughing. Always.

He spoiled me, Al Bogart did. And he lied to me…in a way. Some things aren’t black and white. Ever.

I reached out last week, yet again. I heard NOT last week, yet again.

The old man? I know what he’d say. Arm draped ‘round me, misty eyes filtering his gut, his words would be clear.

Black and white, for that matter—-

“Stop moving the goal posts.” he’d demand. “Get off your knees,” he’d admonish. “Life goes on”.

And I’d listen, if I could. To every word, if I could. And I’d well hear what he wouldn’t say:
that someday, some way…we’d look back and laugh.

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