It’s been quiet here for a couple weeks. I’ve been in an Intensive Care Unit, a private room, a hospice, a funeral home, and finally a beach in Fort Lauderdale. I saw a Kronos 4500 hanging outside the ICU, but other than that, my mind was Out Of The Office. The quality of every healthcare professional caring for my dad was extraordinary. I wish more of the dollars paying for healthcare went to the people directly providing it. They work extremely hard at a physically and emotionally demanding profession. I thank them all.
Dad’s life wasn’t special in a large, bold font obituary way, but it was in the everyday struggle we all wage to navigate it. Leo Joseph Daley was the first of three sons to Michael and Lillian (“Lil the Thrill”) Daley. He was delivered into the Great Depression of 1933 in East Boston, MA. Escaping a tumultuous home environment, he learned the man code on the streets: drinking, carousing, and going to “the track.” At 17, a little fib got him out of that world and on to the USS Tidewater. Dad sailed the darkened seas from August, 1951 to August, 1954. A later member of the American Legion, Dad was proud of his military service, and so am I. In 1957, Dad married a 17 year old orphan seeking her own path out of domestic chaos. One year later, he and bride Carol welcomed me. Two more sons showed up in ’62 and ’64.
Dad worked his way up to become a manufacturing supervisor at the Polaroid Corporation. Last week I found a memo from 1961 commending his voluntary service on the graveyard shift, and mentioning his “enthusiasm.” I also discovered some original, heavy stock certificates from the company documenting training in “concepts of photography,” and several supervisory courses. Supervisor training? Hmmm… I worked for the guy, and well… let’s just say he took some great Polaroids… While Dad didn’t get good mentoring on the whole father thing, or a manual, he had some strong parental instincts. When a six year old staggered up an East Boston three-decker stairway with a crimson gushing gash above his eye, Dad swooped him up and on to Dr. Paris with a father’s desperation I’ll never forget.
By 1970, that old man-code would have had Dad on match.com if there was one, but by mid-decade, old-fashioned fate brought him together with his second wife, Caroline. They were married nearly 30 years when she passed in 2007. My step-mom was perfect for Dad, and could (and did) administer tough love when necessary. Once he lost her, Dad’s interest waned in the other things that made life worth living. Plus, he had already scored a hole-in-one, so giving up golf was no biggie…
As my brother and I poured through pictures, I found some that I’d never seen, and discovered things I never knew. Dad went to Italy? I have questions that now can’t be answered…
So what does this have to do with technology services? Have you ever heard the phrase, “He/She is a project?” A life is like a project in many ways. None of us enter it perfect, and not all of it can be planned. The best advice I can offer for dealing with a project or a loved one is… get in people’s faces and ask every question you can possibly think of as early as possible. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
So Dad… How was Italy?