All the stories are great Dad Stories. Things that dad did, how he reacted, how he taught you, and even, how I tried to get one dad (now in his 80's) to try out for America's Got Talent. Fast forward to 1:15 to hear that story. If anyone knows him, please, lettim' know he could make a jillion dollars on AGT. KIDDING! Daughter says no, I respect that. BUT...if...mayyyyybe?

That's my dad and me in the picture. He was visiting Rochester around Christmas, and a few days after the picture was taken, he and I took the train to New York. I miss that shirt and I really miss that guy in the vest and short sleeves. A duo, we had a wonderful time in New York. But he was in an odd mood. A little slower, needing more sleep. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I figured he was just getting older.

My dad reminisced far more (I wish I'd had a way to record it), he told so many funny stories, and one night, we were the last customers in a tiny Austrian restaurant, and my dad got to talking with the owner, and the guy on the piano started playing old Austrian love songs, and he sang in a language I didn't understand. But my dad did. Or at least he knew them from his time in the Army.

It was a powerful atmosphere with memories, a few tears came out because of the stories each of them told. And I realized, these people and my dad...their paths had never crossed. But they shared hardships, laughs, and fear at the same time and for the same reason. They were friends, having just met each other. They were friends.

I believe parents, even without trying, are always teaching their kids something. But, I'm still trying to figure out what he was teaching me that night. No matter, it was one of his last lessons because, by April 3rd, I'd be visiting him in Dallas, TX, in a hospital bed, and a few hours later, cancer stole another life. I was reading a Sherlock Holmes story to him, and I was so tired, I feel asleep. And so did he. When I woke with a start, the room was strangely quiet.

My father died while I was sleeping.

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM, and 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.