Hi everyone, just wanted to share a bit about my Dad. I’m having a bit of a rough time today, as he passed away just 3 weeks ago today, and today would’ve been his 72nd birthday….
A few memories:
I remember when I was probably about 4 sitting in his lap, or rather standing and helping him drive the car into the garage.
I remember weekends watching westerns and Wide World of Sports and eating spaghetti dinner with him out of a box (Chef Boyardee).
I remember him cutting up coconuts with a machete and sharing it with my brother and I, and letting us try the coconut milk inside. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why I lovvvve coconut water?
I remember falling off the back of my brother’s bike into a prickly pear cactus and being scraped with a pocket knife from head to toe to get all the cactus out.
I remember going with him on weekends when he was on his second job, remodeling houses, and helping where I could.
I remember him taking me to the hospital when I stepped on a roofing nail.
I remember him taking me to the gun range and teaching me not only to shoot, but how to properly clean firearms and to always respect them.
Dad taught us proper work ethic….be on time or early, work hard, do your job, do it right the first time, earn your paycheck, and always show respect.
Dad taught us to always respect our elders….Yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am. No smart mouthing, no bad language, and you for darned sure better not even think about telling a lie…
We were expected to study hard, always do our best, and earn good grades. Probably one reason I’m such a perfectionist, and still insist on getting A’s, even at my age. ha
I remember working on cars with him, from about the age of 6 up through adulthood. My hubby was pretty darned proud of me when he came home one day and I had put a new alternator on the car, all by myself. I even finished up a lift kit we were putting on a Toyota truck once. ha And for a time, I was really great at rebuilding motorcycle carburetors too! Allll thanks to Dad teaching me a bit about working on cars and trucks when I was younger.
I remember our Wednesday’s when he’d pick me up from school early to go get my allergy shots listening to ollllld country music on the AM radio.
I remember how hard he worked to take care of us. As many as 3 jobs at a time. He wasn’t home much, but we knew he loved us just the same.
From the time I was born he had a nickname for me, and called me that up until the day he died. No I’m not telling you what it is. Some people know, and they also know they better not even dare think about calling me that. Only Dad can do that. My heart breaks knowing I will never hear him call me that again.
I remember the first time I went fishing with him, which was after I was married, and him throwing inky squid legs at me. He couldn’t swim, but when we would wade fish off the beach, he’d walk out to the 3rd sandbar at low tide, in jeans, boots and a long sleeved shirt. When he was done fishing a few hours later, the tide had generally come in and it was way over his head. He would just walk back in and use his fishing pole to help him bob up for air! lol My honeybunny and I went fishing with him many many times and have lots of great memories from going.
I remember him sneaking into the bathroom and pouring a jug of ice water over the top of the shower to pick on my husband when we were newlyweds.
I remember our one and only vacation when I was little, where our guinea pig died of heat exhaustion, a bear really and truly ate my Honey Comb cereal, we slid down dunes of gypsum, Dad climbed up a rock face……then the transmission went out on the car.
I remember when he decided to teach me to drive his granny geared 50 Chevy truck. I had never EVER seen him look worried before, but he was holding on to the door for dear life! ha
I remember the day he took my hubby and I to get our marriage license, and my hubby had left his wallet in his car and we had to drive alllll the way back to the house to get it. Dad was not happy to say the least. I was only 17, so he had to sign for me. Our 32nd anniversary is in 2 days, and I’m so glad that Dad not only approved, but gave Troy his permission to ask me to marry him. They got along great and had many good times together, fishing, building things, working on old vehicles…..
I remember when I got my first tattoo (I was 35) and worried he’d be mad (he was really ticked off that I got my upper ear pierced a week or so prior). He wasn’t mad at all, he just wanted to know why I didn’t get one like grandpa’s! Grandpa had a Marine bulldog on his arm. I will be getting a couple of new ones soon, and one will be in memory….
I remember the first time he told me he was proud of me, and that wasn’t very many years ago, but knowing that he was proud of me meant the world to me, even if I did have to wait over 40 years to hear him say it. I never ever had to wonder if he loved me though. He always told me he loved me when we parted ways or hung up the phone.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all my wonderful memories I have of my Dad, but it gives you a few to share in.
My last memories are of me flying out to see him and say goodbye. I went straight to the hospital from the airport. His first words were “it’s about damn time you got here”. ha Then he said, “I told you I’d call you before I die”. I told him, “You didn’t call”. He looked at me for a second and then said, “Well, you look good”. I said, “Thanks Dad!”. Then he told the nurse “That’s my daughter!”. Just before I left for the evening, I said “I love you Daddy, I’ll see you tomorrow”, he said “I love you too baby, it’s now or never”. Those were actually the last few words I got to have with him. He was less and less lucid throughout that day, and even less each and every hour after that. It was totally heart wrenching to watch a man, that had never a day in his life complained about pain…to hear him yell out, to beg you to help and you not be able to do anything for him, to hear him crying out and begging for the pain to stop, or for the nurses to not touch him. Three short days later, when that moment came to say my final goodbye, I watched over him, spoke to him, and told him how much he was loved, how much he’d be missed, and that it was ok, as he took his last breaths. It was truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I will never ever regret those last moments with him.
Happy 72nd Birthday Daddy, I hope you’re having a great big party up there in heaven to celebrate your earthly birthday! I love you, and I miss you so very much, and I will always and forever be Daddy’s little girl…..