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“The House That Jack Built” – Bio

John B. Whalen (“Jack”)
My Father
Born December 28, 1935 – Died January 23, 2003

“The House That Jack Built” – Writing

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… My father, John B. Whalen, was born on December 28, 1935 …

… He would have been 83 years old today …

… I can write that date without a second thought …

… I just can’t write anything further about my dad …

… My father, John B. Whalen, died on January 23, 2003 …

… He was just 69 years old …

… Seventeen (17) years ago, today …

… I can write these dates and ages without a blink of an eye …

… I just can’t write anything more about him …

… I have read, and posted, similar writings from friends …

… I admire those who can write about loosing a loved one …

… I cherish the ability to read their writings …

… I embrace their writings because it allows me to remember …

… I just can’t write about my father …

… so I share other things instead …

… somehow this does something …

… I just don’t know what yet …

“The House That Jack Built” – His Note

… my father wrote this note to me …

… he mailed it to me …

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… It read

My Dear John

My thoughts are always with you

One of my thoughts is that you fail to realize how good you are in so many ways, as a husband, son, and a hard-working, smart, and feeling attorney.

Perhaps a few seconds a day with St. Jude will help you to realize your full capabilities.

With my love and respect,

Dad

… I don’t know why and I never asked him …

… I still have it – 22 years later …

… we never spoke about it …

“The House That Jack Built” – Cats In The Cradle

… one day, my mother was driving my father somewhere …

… my mother loved this song …

… she always paid acute attention to lyrics – and life – in general …

… I did know that my father was aware of this song …

… I don’t believe he paid attention to the lyrics …

… as was his folly, he was spouting off about my inability to visit …

… this song came on the radio …

… my mother told my father to hush and listen to the words …

… he did …

… he was silent for the rest of the day …

“The House That Jack Built” – Cats In The Cradle – Note

The song’s lyrics began as a poem written by Harry’s wife, Sandra “Sandy” Gaston. Harry Chapin also said the song was about his own relationship with his son, Josh, admitting, “Frankly, this song scares me to death.”

“The House That Jack Built” – Epilogue

… “Yes, Dad – I took out the trash” …

… “Yes, Dad – I cleaned up the kitchen” …

… “No, Dad – I didn’t take the channel changer” …

… “Yes, Dad – I know how much channel changers cost” …

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