Two vignettes about my sweet dad, Jac Romain, on the 17th anniversary of his sudden death:
TOAST AND TEA
I’m not sure what woke me up that night, but I felt a little insecure in the dark and went to my parent’s room to see if they were awake.
I sometimes felt scared at night and I would stand by their door just to hear them breath. The sound soothed me.
That night, as I approached my parent’s room, I noticed that my dad’s studio light was on. I tiptoed up the stairs and peeked into the studio door.
Only his desk lamp was on and the room was bathed in a warm light. He was hunched over his drawing board with his elbows on the table and his face resting in his hands.
I didn’t want to disturb him, so I just stood and watched. It was only seconds, but it felt like hours.
His radio was on softly. The Mama’s and the Papa’s were singing California Dreamin’.
Finally I cleared my throat. My dad looked up.
“Oh, hi Trev,” he said, extending his arms toward me. “How’s it going my boy?”
“You okay?” I asked, as he wrapped his arms around me.
“Rough day. Lot on my mind.”
I knew that we were struggling financially and my dad was desperately trying to make a living as an artist. It really hurt him that he could not support us like he wanted to.
“Is it money?” I asked.
“Among other things,” he said. “You couldn’t sleep either, huh?”
“Yeah,” I said, snuggling into his chest.
I felt safe and secure wrapped in his arms.
“Can I help?” I asked, stepping back and looking into his kind but tired eyes.
I was saving for my very first guitar and had a jar full of money. I would happily have given him every cent.
” Yeah you can help,” he said, softly.
“How?” I asked.
“C’mere and hold me.” He said, putting his arms around me again. “Just hold me. That will really help.”
He had tears in his eyes.
I held my dad for the longest time.
Then we went and had toast and hot tea.
I DREAM OF YOU
I Remember being a little boy in my childhood home.
It was late at night and I was afraid.
My father reached under the bed and pulled me out.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“No.” I replied.
“What’s wrong?” he said, putting his arm around me.
“I miss you dad.”
“I miss you too,” he said.
“I remember how you used to walk with me on your shoulders and throw me up into the air and catch me?”
“You would laugh and laugh,” He said, smiling.
“I love you dad,” I sighed.
“I love you too,” he said, softly. “And I’ll always be in your heart.”
“I know,” I replied. “But I still miss you.”
“I feel the same,” he said.
“Is this a dream?” I asked.
“Unfortunately it is Trev,” he smiled.
“I wish you were still alive,” I sighed.
“Yeah, me too,” he said, softly.
“Why am I always a little boy when I dream about you?” I asked. “Not the age I am now?”
“Because you’re my little boy,” he said, holding me tightly. ” And you always will be.”