When I was five I was afraid of you.
You were so big.
Seemed so strict.
Mom was the “nice” one.
When I was 10 you scared me some.
Always wanted to please.
Reveled in your praise.
Laughed at your jokes.
As a teenager we argued.
Your ideas were so “old.”
Your habits were embarrassing.
Sometimes I felt ashamed.
In young manhood our differences grew.
Politically, socially, opposite ends.
It was always black and white with you.
There was never any gray.
As a father, I began to see it.
How did you deal with eight?
Your quiet confidence spoke volumes.
Your patience nearly infinite.
Now that I’m older, it’s clear.
Never understood what you went through.
Didn’t realize what you gave up.
I see it all now.
You’re in a better place.
Hope the Angels laugh at your jokes.
Hope Notre Dame wins every game up there.
Hope they have a good stereo for you, too.
So long, pop. Talk to you again next year.
I’ll catch up to you soon enough.
R.I.P. Richard Arthur Reestman
February 2, 1921 – October 10, 1999