For my father…

My dad, George Golden, back in the day...

Just wanted to let you know that I won’t be posting for a week or two due to a family emergency. My father died this week and I am heading to Philadelphia on Tuesday morning to be with my family for his funeral.

My dad was a former Marine who served two tours in Vietnam. He could be the most infuriating man in the world and yet he was generous to a fault. Before he became ill, he was a very active man who didn’t like sitting still very long but loved to sleep in at the weekends. He used to say it was better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission…but he hated it when I practiced what he preached. When I told him I wanted to be a writer, he said I should be a lawyer or a doctor. But when I was accepted into VCU’s MFA program he was pleased as punch.

We didn’t always have the best relationship but maybe it was because I was (and still am) just as stubborn and opinionated as he was. In the last years of his life my dad was stricken with premature dementia. He’d begun to forget who we were, he’d lost his ability to speak due to a stroke, he’d lost a leg to diabetes. When I was with him, I could sometimes feel the anger in him. He didn’t like losing control of his life. But every now and then he would smile and everything seemed okay again.

One of my favorite memories of my dad is when he would sing his favorite songs on a Sunday night while listening to the Golden Oldies on the radio. He and my mom would dance around the living room and it was like getting a glimpse of when they first fell in love.

So the next week or so will be devoted to being with my family in Philadelphia and putting my dad to rest. And this post is dedicated to my father’s memory.


26 AUGUST 1939 – 15 FEBRUARY 2012