TBT: Dad’s Note

These words swirled around in my head for years...

These words swirled around in my head for years…

I’d like to dedicate this to 2 great, fun bloggers – the Tattoo Tourist mainly because there is a distinct, respectable mission and a clear-cut method to her inked “madness” (and because she chose me as 1 of 6 preferred castaways on a desert island!).

This also goes out to RedDog, who has my admiration and respect for the shining posts he writes on his blog, Shed Reflections, and for his friendly, welcoming vibe. He’s cool, he’s tattooed, he’s fond of bikes, he leaves great feedback and the comments left here got me all smiley, sentimental and geared-up to write this post.

– Did you ever take that ride, RedDog? Fill me in! 🙂

The image featured above is a yellow notepaper I found on my Dad’s bulletin board shortly after he passed in 2005.  At the time it was really difficult for me to enter his apartment alone, so my Long Island cousin, Linda, accompanied me several times.

This was our first of many visits.  Chills ran down my spine when I read that note on his cork-board.

At the same moment, chills ran down her spine when she saw a shadow cross behind us in the hallway, where we stood in front of that board, straight to his office. Of course that would be just like him to spook 2 little girls he got to watch grow up… If she and I ever needed to be any closer, THAT little scare surely helped!

To fill in the elephant-sized blank, Dad didn’t really “pass away” (i.e. in his sleep with a smile or from a long, drawn-out illness) so much as he was fatally impacted & thrown from his beloved Harley Davidson.  He was on his way home from work to meet a friend in the evening of March 18, 2005 when a tow-truck blew right through a stop sign.

At the intersection of Randolph & Scott in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn shortly before 6PM my heart was slated to be ripped apart.  Although the news of his accident would take another 6 hours to reach me…

This is the reason I now have an I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact in my cellphone.

Within an hour after the accident, he was gone.  It was the biggest waking nightmare of my entire life.  I got the call at my then-boyfriend/now-husband’s apartment around midnight only because NYPD had gotten a tip from my Godmother.  They had left several messages on my home answering machine to no avail. Eventually they thought it might be useful to search the log of recent calls on Dad’s cellphone.  Stellar notification skills, NYPD…

So, I never got to kiss his cheek or hold his hand or say goodbye.

Dad had left a message on my machine on Thursday, the night right before his accident, and I put off calling him back. Never thought for one second it would end up as this sort of painful regret; but then nobody ever does, do they?

“There’s always tomorrow…” is a common, innocent-enough assumption.

This little snippet of the translated poem “La Tierra Giró para Acercarnos” by Eugenio Montejo seemed to speak to me in Dad’s voice.  It brought frustrating, haunting notions to mind.  Even though he was a huge fan of the movie 21 Grams, and a seriously hopeless romantic, it seemed to project Dad’s typical irony –

The Earth turned to bring us closer
It turned on itself and in us
Until it finally brought us together in this dream

  • Closer? – Uh, Daddy, you’re even more “gone” now than you were when you and mom divorced…
  • Together in this dream? – Less “dream” and more an endless, extremely lonely nightmare at that moment in time.

That Post-It became the centerpiece of a photo collage my “Cousin-Brother” (& Dad’s first nephew) Eric artfully threw together for display at the wake and funeral.  Everyone thought it was sweet, sentimental & very prophetic that my dad found those words significant and left them in a place for me to find. That frame with all its original contents sits to this day on the dresser in my room.  Up until very recently it had never been disassembled.


It took quite a long time for me to revisit those lines from Dad’s saved scribble.  For a really long time it was difficult to temper the thoughts that sprung up in my grieving, sentimental mind.  After all, if I really thought about it, those words do gently invoke the wings of fate and the magical ways people we love the most affect us; just like the very best of dreams.

I plan to make those words, exactly as he jotted them down, my next tattoo (when I can afford it!).  I promise to post a pic when I do.  🙂

And here you go, RedDog – that photo I promised to share.  Can’t tell you which model it was, but he was very proud of it though I had to let them keep it at the good ‘ol NYPD salvage lot since I hadn’t the heart or the constitution necessary to go see it.

Proud member of H.O.G.; knight in shining chrome armor; BEST DAD EVER!

Luis Wilfredo Vidal – Proud member of H.O.G.; knight in shining chrome armor; BEST DAD EVER! *The next post about Dad should be a tad more upbeat! 😉


About LVital7019

Just your normal, everyday 9-5er. An uninspiring position in an inspirational non-profit moves me to constant goof-offery; aimless, on-the-job procrastination; a crankiness that borders on psychosis; and attempting to craft something meaningful with words. Just another so-called-job inspiring someone to feats of insanity with a hint of creativity... (Insert demonic laugh HERE.) View all posts by LVital7019

20 responses to “TBT: Dad’s Note

  • REDdog

    LV, a heartfelt and moving piece, it must be hard when you miss someone that much. Might sound weird, but I almost envy that because when my old man goes it will likely bring about a sigh of relief before a tear…it can be tiring being a constant source of disappointment in someone’s life, you know? Sorry, my stupid phone won’t download your pics but I will revisit tomorrow on my laptop (4 days off) and maybe even let you know what model bike he’s on. I am deeply honoured by your dedication, thank you for such a lovely sentiment. LLH&R REDdog


    • REDdog

      p.s. yep, I did take that ride, enjoyed every minute of it!


    • LVital7019

      Ah, yes – I do know exactly what you mean. :/ (Notice how Dad is the one featured so prominently here). BUT, REDdog – people like us get to hand-pick our true “family” and are very adept at relying on ourselves. Enjoy your time off! I will be doing the same this weekend; ironically, driving up to Mom’s tomorrow for a long weekend. 🙂


      • REDdog

        Yes, of course, you’re absolutely right, thanks for the reminder, LV.

        I will enjoy my days off. Today I get to pick up my 18yo daughter on the FatBob and take her to see my tattoo artist mate (he’s responsible for the Celtic crucifix in my gravata) so she can discuss getting her first tattoo…and he & I will likely discuss my next one too…good times!


      • LVital7019

        That is so awesome! I talked Dad out of a tattoo once – he was crazy for the idea of getting the Harley Davidson logo on his arm. I strongly suggested he NOT get a logo for his 1st or use his artistic skills to modify it and make it original. So he waited. It was good that he never got one because my grandmother insisted on the proper Catholic burial & they ASK about that. 🙂


      • REDdog

        Gold! Yes, well, I grew up in a very religious household too, and my parents were mortified at the tattoos. They’ve not seen my back…my Queen reckens she’s gonna have me lying face down and shirtless in the coffin just to watch their faces haa!


      • LVital7019

        Hahahaha! My kinda lady! 😀


  • thetattootourist

    I’m deeply touched that you would mention me here. Thank you for sharing more about the story of losing your dear father – these are the most painful and personal stories to share and it takes bravery to do so. My husband thinks – but is not sure – that your dad’s bike is an 883 Sportster but will yield to Red Dog’s most likely greater knowledge. Let’s get your dad’s guiding spirit on the island – he can be our Obi Wan Kenobi – watching, wise and present.


    • LVital7019

      PS – I’m grinning with a tear in my eye because Dad was a HUGE Star Wars trilogy uber-fan! I still have all his collectibles – books, boxed sets, posters, etc.


    • REDdog

      TT, I reckon your hubby’s onto it. It’s definitely a Sportster, that “peanut” fuel tank is a dead giveaway. The motor is an “Evo” (short for Evolution) also known as a “Blockhead” (due to the shape of the rocker covers). Blockhead Sportsters replaced Ironhead Sportsters in 1986 and came in 3 motor sizes. If it is an 883cc, as TT’s hub reckons, it could be anywhere from 1986 to 2000. If it’s the bigger capacity then it will an 1100cc if it is a 1986-1988, or the bigger capacity 1200cc from 1988-2000. In the bike world they are often referred to as “Skirtsters”, in part because their smaller size made them so popular with women who decided riding “bitch” was no longer their thing and wanted to pilot their own road destiny. However, as with all things, the Sporty has a staunchly defiant male following also, not least due to their racing pedigree. I never met a Sporty owner who wasn’t prepared to ride the wheels of the thing.


  • LVital7019

    I LUV LUV LOVE your comments, Lady! I might still have the registration for it but can’t remember if that had to get sent to insurance for processing or not. I know the pic doesn’t really show the bike off very well. Thank your hubby for helping – it kind of means a lot that my Dad has become kind of a presence here with all my new blog-friends. I might even ask for your input on that tattoo if I find myself with a couple Benjamins to spare… 😉


  • Aussa Lorens

    What an incredible thing to find and be able to hold onto… and such a reminder to not take tomorrow as granted.


  • dunkcoffeesharon

    A note from Dad is spooky tender! I really like the sentiment attached to it. I hope you will continue to share


  • Tony Single

    This is so moving, Lorien. He was taken far too soon, I’m thinking. This world needs more motorbike riding romantics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LVital7019

      Gah! No! He can ride his motorbike all he wants now that he’s got wings but it always made me nervous. I used to have to go back inside my apartment when he’d take my son with him for the weekend because I just. Couldn’t! LOOK!! I think it was a midlife crisis thing…


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Tony Single

artist. wastrel. a quantum of potential.

The Greenwich Village Literary Review

A magazine by writers who love to write for readers who love to read.

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