By Steve Cichon | firstname.lastname@example.org | @stevebuffalo
BUFFALO, NY — I could almost smell the Vitalis at Easter Mass this past weekend. The generations old tradition of tiny little boys with their hair slicked down to their heads for church makes me smile and melts away decades.
I have thick, wily hair, and the only time my ol’man ever cared about it not looking that way was on the way to church.
“Get over here,” he’d say, with clipped speech and some vague notion of annoyance… A Parliament 100 dangling from a corner of his lip.
One old hair tonic’s commercial told you “a little dab’ll do ya.” Dad must have never saw this commercial. After grabbing my forehead and shaking the life out of that bottle, the bathroom filling with the smell of slightly perfumed rubbing alcohol, he’d pull an ancient brush through my hair until it felt like my head was bleeding.
Potential scalp contusions aside, it’s really a great memory. The very way I was watching the slicked up little dudes and their proud young dads, was under the ol’man’s influence. Even phrases like “slicked up little dudes” and the quiet dry Cichon cackle that I couldn’t hold back as I watched were all Dad.
When I feel him living on, laughing when he’d laugh, smiling when giving a kid a buck, being a special brand of obstinate and crazy, it’s a great feeling. Especially when it’s been six years today since his heart stopped, he breathed his last, and he went on to his eternal reward.
We can’t help but remember our loved ones, and that can be sad. But when we bear witness to the little ways they live on, it’s beautiful. Love ya and miss ya, dad.