Except for boxing, wrestling and billiards, my father was never a big sports fan. He would never read something like this.
But he was my dad, and I miss him.
Cyril, "Chuck" Weiner passed away Wednesday morning at age 81. It happened suddenly, and I never got a chance to say goodbye. I guess most of us never really get that opportunity, and it's a shame.
As a huge sports fan myself, I sometimes get wrapped up in box scores and headlines, forgetting the most important things in life. Family is at the top of that list, and I've been fortunate to have a very close one.
My father was extremely active for most of his life. In fact, until heart and kidney issues began to limit his quality of life about a decade ago, he rode his bike, hit tennis balls with some friends and was a regular at the Troy Senior Center, where he was one of the top pool players -- by his own admission, of course. He also loved to swim, something we had in common, and enjoyed camping.
I could never really talk sports with my dad, but we were still close. I just want him to know how much I really cared and appreciated all that he did for me, my mom and my siblings. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran who worked extremely hard to give our family the best. He worked at the Watervliet Arsenal, mostly as a welder, for more than 35 years, and was always handy around the house, often saving us money by fixing something or building it himself. I always was in awe of the way he could use his tools, because I'm basically clueless with a hammer, nail or screwdriver.
I know my dad is in a better place after struggling with his health the last few years. He was cooped up in basically one room because he needed oxygen all the time and required a wheelchair for doctor visits and trips to the dialysis center, which he had to make three times a week.
If he's looking down on me from above, I hope he's running the table in pool with a couple of his buddies. He could always embarrass me with a cue stick.
Dad, thanks for everything. I miss you.