I think he regretted, in his later years, that we kids were raised to be so self-sufficient that we immediately scattered to the four winds upon reaching adulthood. I know I do. He told me during my senior year of high school that I could go to college anywhere I wanted, as long as it was out-of-state. (This statement spoke volumes about Dad's wanting us to live our own lives, but also about how crappy most of Kentucky's colleges were...) Now, with his passing, I find myself unable to console my mother personally, for a full day after his death, because the geographic distance between us is so great.
One of his last acts on Earth was to sing "Happy Birthday" to his granddaughter Tasman, my daughter. Tasman's third birthday was on the 15th, but we celebrated it today, July 17th, 1999, one month to the day before Dad's 69th birthday. Dad's father never knew any of his grandchildren. So, even though it was only for three years, I will always be grateful that Dad knew and loved Tasman. I just wish it had been for much longer.
Dad's cold engineer's facade poorly concealed a big heart. Somehow, this stoic, left-brained man of the 50's was also warm, gregarious, really funny, and easily the most considerate person I've even known. I'm very, very proud to be his son.