Sunday, February 14, 2010


On this the 200th post of this blog, I was going to publish something I had started on the nature of friendship. Instead, I am dedicating it to the memory of my father. Regular readers may remember that my dad died of AIDS, contracting it a during blood transfusion while undergoing cardiac bypass surgery in 1984. He was in that first group of people to get infected back then from transfusions, and four years later, on Valentine's Day in 1988 he would die of complications from HIV. The horror show that was his illness, which wasn't picked up until late into the course of it, impacted me (in addition to my family) in ways that still resonate to this day.

The anger that I carried with me festered for a great long time, and was only truly exorcised but a few years ago. Still, there are certain things that still make me shudder; His never living long enough to see me act, to succeed in my former profession, to become a writer, and I think most certainly where my brother is concerned, to see the birth of my niece, his first and only grandchild. At the same time, I'm glad that he wasn't there to see what I went through during my illness and subsequent transplant, but then again, he would have been there to support my mom.

As a result, Valentine's Day is a bittersweet one for me. Mrs. Nighttime and I always celebrate the day before, as the day itself can be too difficult on some years. It is also, for some reason, the only part of my Judaism that I stick to, lighting a yahrzheit lamp on the anniversary of his death as well as on Yom Kippur.

This year I will be on stage in the show that I'm currently in, imagining that he is in the audience. I would like to think he would have been proud of my accomplishments over the years. We never saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things, though towards the end, he was getting a better understanding of why I loved being a paramedic.

Cheers Dad.


Zed said...

Your dad would be proud of you and the man that you have become. I think a lot of parents disagree at some level about what their children are doing during stages of their life - and it starts at quite a young age.

I'm sure your dad was a great person and I'd like to thank him for helping bring such a fine man as yourself into the world.

Cheers, Mr Nighttime Senior.

Wafa' said...

you are so lucky to have beautiful memory of your father, so they can be living with you after his sadden death. it's sad but try to think of the lovely time :)

Mr. Nighttime said...

Zed - Thank you. I am very grateful for our friendship, and for our transatlantic talks. I value it more than you can know.

Wafa - Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. My dad and I had something of a complicated relationship. In the end though, he began to understand why I enjoyed being a paramedic so much. I just wish he had more time to fully understand it.

Retiredandcrazy said...

You are the second blogger I have read today that speaks of fathers. We, the ones who had kind loving fathers, are so fortunate. Although it is painful to think that he is no longer here I am so grateful that mine nurtured and cared for me the way he did. I shudder to think of the poor children that have never experienced that kind of love.

jay said...

What a tragedy, Mr N. I'm sad for you and your family.

I'm sure your Dad would have been very proud of you. Not only for your achievements as a medic, but for your wit and intelligence, and your humanity, as well as your writing and theatre successes.

Like you, I lost my father too young, and he never knew my husband, let alone met his grandchildren. Life is tough sometimes.

Beth said...

oh Honey...what a wonderful tribute to your Dad....and I believe he WAS in teh audience, watching you perform....he'd be very proud of you, I'm sure.


Sistertex said...

Truly the touch of his hand is in everything you do. Forever alive and living through you.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I like the idea of lighting that yahrzheit lamp for your father.

I know how you feel, my father did not get to see his grandson who was born soon after my father died.

I'm so scared of the pain that death causes, my fear is unbelievable.