Sunday, January 27, 2013

Damn, damn, damn.....

Me and Lisa went over to Mom's house for dinner tonight along with my sister and her boyfriend. It was all good, having a nice time and then I asked mom for the combination to Pop's gun safe. She'd been on me to inventory his guns for a while but I'd been putting her off because, well I don't know. But tonight was the night.

It was hard to handle his guns. I mean, they weren't high value guns by any means, I think the most valuable gun in there was his Belgian Browning Sweet 16, but they were him, you know? His 870 Wingmaster, his little 410 that fed us when he was stationed in Ft Leonard Wood in the early 60s, his Remington 760, his little Savage 22 that he's had forever, his Weatherby 22-250, all of his handguns...... Every one of those guns had some memories to them. The hardest one though was the little Stevens bolt action 22LR that his Pops gave him and then he gave me when I was 6 or 7, the one I learned to shoot on.  I can remember us stripping down and refinishing the stock, then reblueing the barrel and when we were done him handing it to me and making me promise to hand it down to the child I never had.
I don't know, I had a lot of shit going through my mind - with each rifle, shotgun or handgun that I handled I was flashing back to the time when he first got them and then going back to recent times when we'd go shoot and his hands were shaking so bad he couldn't shoot straight and him getting pissed off - realizing that his shooting days were effectively done and seeing how bad that hurt him, then me pulling my shots on purpose and blaming our misses on the wind or sun on our eyes or whatever to make him feel better, but both of us knowing better but not saying so.
Rough fucking night, man.

17 comments:

drjim said...

I felt the same way when I helped my sister go through our Dad's stuff.

She gave me all his Navy/SeaBee stuff, which will go to my son someday, and we split up a couple of boxes of pictures.

Brian In Florida said...

Sorry Bro, I don't know how that feels, but I do know how it feels to go thru my brothers guns after he died, dam.

Bushwack said...

Well, that brought a tear to my eye reading it but I think it was dust in the room.. Realize this: There's millions of kids that didn't or don't have those type of memories of their dad. Your dad did his job and if more were like him we wouldn't be in the shit we're in now.

wirecutter said...

Brought tears to my eyes too, Brothers. Still have a lump in my throat.

Old Richard said...

memorys of time past are hard but let me tell you my friend, thank the Good
Lord you have them. At 6 years old I got my dad's winchester mod. 62 .22
pump gun, but I never knew the man that used it, because he was killed in a truck accident 5 weeks before I was born. I would gladly give that old rifle to anyone that wanted it for some years with a dad making memorys. I am in the same age range of your "pops" and I have spent my life building memorys with my sons and daughters and hopefully
they will have sad thoughts going through my gun safe. So again jump for joy you have those rich remembrances of a truly great american that taught the excellent
values that myself and all your readers see in your blog.

pdwalker said...

Over 5 years on, and I've still not been able to gather the strength of will to do the same.

libertyandlead said...

Lost my dad when I was 19. Be thankful for the time you had and cherish every memory. I find myself saying the same things he did, thinking like he did and generally being him. That is not a bad thing. Shoot that .22 and smile each time.-55six

hiswiserangel said...

You know your Pops loved you and continues to love you, that's why it hit so hard. *hugs*

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Seemed comforting when I had to go through my Dad's things. I also learned a lot about him that I never knew. When he was in his early 20's he drove down to Louisville, KY and helped the town recover from a huge flood. I also learned he worked on a riverboat on the Mississippi. I hope you find treasures, pictures and stories about your Dad like I did. Made me admire him even more.

Bruce S said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of your Pops. Mine is going through chemo right now and it doesn't look good. You are helping me to focus on getting in what I can before it is too late.

timbo said...

Old Richard/Wirecutter - That was a very touching response to a very touching story.

cato said...

Understand. I lost Mom and Dad nearly 6 years ago.

Still waiting for the joy of fond memories and all the blessings they shared to overtake the sense of loss.

Old Richard is right, "Thank the Good Lord for those excellent memories".

timbo said...

Bruce S - Here is a mistake I made.

My Dad and I lived lives as extreme optimists. When he was in fact dying, we both assumed he would naturally win the battle. Because of this absurd state of denial, I never asked all the questions I should have asked or said the words that should have been said. Then one day I went over to make his breakfast, and it was too late. I hope you get what I'm saying, in the spirit that which I am intending. May God bless you both.

WiscoDave said...

As you know, Ken, been there done that. My dad didn't have guns but Lord did he have books. Kept some - couple almost 200 years old. Gave the rest away. Thankfully to people who understood and appreciated them.
It's hard, man. Still think of them both.
Take care - you have a great group of friends who have your back.

Deb said...

Ditto what Old Richard said.

Treasure every memory.

Lisa said...

I love you honey, and I know he was with us in that room, feeling the respect you were showing him, in the handling of those items...I broke when Mom pulled out his Jump Book and in it was the telegraph he received in France from your mom, telling him you were born...and both were healthy. You handled those items with the same love and respect he handled that telegraph! I love you...you did him proud baby!

DaddyBear said...

He sounds like a good man who brought up a good man. My collection will be similar for my children. Nothing that rare or valuable, but every piece will have a memory and a story to go with it. Thanks for sharing this.