Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Roof Above My Head

"It's winter on the island;
My heart is cold as stone;
Like a house deserted,
I'm roofless and alone..."
                                    From "Waking Ned Divine"*

No one does death quite like the Celts.  No other song quite describes the way I feel.  "Roofless" has a special meaning to me.  My father made his fortune in roofs. 

Not putting them on, mind you, but in inspecting them, in maintaining them and in helping people who didn't understand the value of their investment in the relatively thin layer of wood and asphalt most people have above their heads.  My father, in the words of one who knew him well, didn't just start a business - he created an industry.  No one had heard of a "roofing consultant" until Mike Kelleher came along. 

People don't think about their roofs, Daddy used to say.  They put them up and then they forget about them, until there's a problem.  And when there is a problem, people are at the mercy of contractors who don't necessarily understand exactly what's gone wrong either.  Long before people understood walls, people sought roofs.  The earliest evidence of a roof, in fact, dates back 40,000 years to Siberia. 

My Daddy was neither the rock beneath my feet nor the wind beneath my wings. My Daddy was the roof above my head.  Like the roof over my literal head, I didn't see him often or find it easy to get to him.  I didn't have to be with him to know he was there.  Because like a roof, I could always feel his presence in my life, no matter how far apart we were:  keeping away the storms, sheltering me through the darkness, bearing up no matter what the weather. 

*Click on either text or title to hear the song on YouTube.

4 comments:

Walk in the Woods said...

What a beautiful post. As always, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Poignant and lovely...a portrait of what fathers should be...

pebbles_peb said...

HI very nice :) xoxo

Kim said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad.