I miss my dad

Yesterday I got that call that I knew would happen someday, but could never prepare for. My father had passed.

Dad was always supportive of my passion for cartooning. When I was still in high school he became good friends with a zen master – Rev. Don Gilbert. Rev. Gilbert was as a magazine cartoonist in his earlier days and later wrote and illustrated books on zen humor in the latter. Dad introduced me to Rev. Gilbert who turned into my first mentor. Rev. Gilbert took me to the art supply store and went up and down the isles buying me pens, nibs, ink, brushes, paper, a reducing glass – much of this stuff I still have. He told me I’d have to ink the equivalent to a football field before I could say I was a master of inking.

Here’s dad (right) with Rev. Gilbert (left). Please excuse the quality – I’m taking photos with my phone of photos dad has on his office walls.
Dad with Rev. Gilbert

Years ago I started developing a panel cartoon. As an attorney, I thought dad would appreciate the humor of this cartoon (below), so I gave the original to him for Christmas. I was happy to see yesterday that he still displayed the original in a frame in his home office.

My cartoon for dad

He was 75 years old. Much too young in my opinion.

I’m stepping away from the blog for the next few days to be with family. Please call your loved one and let them know you love them. I was in a meeting the last time my dad tried to call me and I let it go to voice mail. There was no way I could have known it could have been the last conversation we’d have. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it, but what I wouldn’t give to pick up the phone and hear his voice. One last time.

103 thoughts on “I miss my dad

  1. Bless your heart. I lost my dad 12 years ago when he was 65. Still think about him quite a bit. You and your family have my deepest sympathy.

  2. I echo Stephen’s comments. You were blessed to have had a father who was supportive of your gifts. May you find the comfort you seek in the love of your family.

  3. So sorry for your loss Alan. I lost my father in 2009, and I think of him every day. I am glad that some years before he passed I realized the event was on the horizon, and I made special efforts to spend short, pleasant times with him as often as I could. I do the same now with my mother, and I urge all to think doing the same while we may.

  4. Deepest condolences, my friend. It is the lucky artist, indeed, who had such a great supporter and influence in a father. He leaves a brilliant legacy.

  5. I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your father, Alan. I lost my mom four years ago and know how much it hurts to lose someone who is so loving and supportive. Treasure the wonderful memories you have of him. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Alan,

    So very sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you. I almost forgot to call my dad on his birthday this year, you know the drill, just sooooo busy. I’m glad I remembered and, thanks to you, I’m going to take the time to call him again today.


  7. My condolences and thoughts to you and your family during this difficult time. Thank you for posting such touching memories and personal thoughts as they put into perspective what is important in our lives. The support from a father or parent in what you love most is one of the most valuable things in the world. Take time for yourself and know your blog readers are also your supporters, always here for when you return.

  8. My sincere condolences to you and your family, Alan.
    I hate the thought of us all getting older and knowing I may lose mine one day. My parents are in WI, I’m in FL, and I know I need to spend more time with them and call them more often. God bless you, and keep you strong through these tough days.

  9. My condolences to you and yours, Alan. As someone who only recently lost his dad and best friend (and thus became an orphan), I feel your pain.

  10. Hi Alan. My deepest condolences. Sorry to hear of your loss. Thanks for sharing your story. It is wonderful to see his legacy in what you do now and the great gift in cartooning we see in the work you’ve shown. All the best to you and your family at this difficult time…

  11. Very sorry to hear that, Alan. My deepest condolences. And thank you for sharing your father’s support for your cartooning career. 77 is too young.

  12. Join the rest in offering my sympathies, Alan.

    One who died is only a little ahead
    of the procession all moving that way.
    When we round the corner, we’ll see him again.
    We have lost him for only a moment
    because we fell behind,
    stopping to tie a shoelace.
    —J. M. Barrie

  13. I remember, when my dad died, a sense that there was now nobody standing between me and eternity. It was kind of scary, but then, over the next few years, I realized how well he had prepared me to stand alone.

    Sounds like your dad did the same for you. It’s a gift.

  14. A parent’s love is truly remarkable beyond any circumstance. How blessed to have such an inspirational and awesome dad! Sending heavy-duty prayers your way, Alan.

  15. Alan–
    Thank you for publicly sharing this private and painful time with your readers so we could grieve with you. You could have easily said nothing and just stepped away for a few days without letting anyone know.

    Your anecdote about your father being supportive of your cartooning was touching, but I most admire you for reminding those of us who still have a parent or parents not to take ordinary events (a phone call, a promise to have a meal together, etc) for granted.

  16. Our deepest condolences to you and your family, Alan.

    Don’t beat yourself up over that last phone call, Alan.
    Your dad knows you love him, that’s what matters.

  17. Alan,
    You and your family our in my thoughts and prayers these dark
    days. It appears that without the influence of these two men
    in your life we wouldn’t have this great blog that you’ve shared with everyone. And they’ve left me smiling with that lawyer
    cartoon you posted.

  18. I’ve been there, sir. To be blunt, it’s a horrible thing to have to go through and I’m very sorry you have to..

    Best to you and your family. You’ll be in our thoughts.


  19. Sincere condolences, Alan. I lost a parent a year ago, and while one can never really prepare, I hope his memory will be a comfort to you.

  20. Alan, I am so sorry to read this news. I hope memories of your Dad bring you comfort during this very sad, difficult time. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  21. My condolences as well, Alan. My dad has been gone for 32 years yet I still revisit him in cherished memories almost daily. That’s a good thing.

  22. I’m really sorry to hear about your dad, Alan. You know how proud he was of you and your work here, as a cartoonist’s dad always is. May he rest in peace now and watch over you forever.

  23. Sorry for your loss. I had an argument with my Dad this morning. I arrived at work and called him up to apologize. Thanks for putting things in perspective Alan. God bless.

  24. So sorry to hear this, Alan. Like many others here have said, I lost my dad more than 20 years ago and I still miss him every day. But the pain you feel will subside with time, though it doesn’t seem that way now, I’m sure.

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