This is a re-post from June 15, 2008.
I hope I can write this thru my tears, since I no longer have my Dad, and Father’s Day is always a little rough. I used to dread trying to come up with something to buy my Dad, and Pappy’s Dad. I wish I still had that problem. My Dad went to heaven on December 4, 1994. I truly believe that was the most difficult thing that I have ever had to go thru. He died the month before I turned 40. Daddy had emphysema, and for the last 5 years before he passed away, he was on oxygen full-time. This was a man who was always so very active and healthy….but he was a smoker….and that took its toll on his lungs…and on his heart…and eventually the heart couldn't take it any longer. I know I’m going to leave lots of things out, but here is a list of things that I remember about my Dad….some are silly….some sad….but they are my memories:
Daddy wore false teeth…he would kiss me without his teeth in sometimes and his lips would be all over my cheek. Speaking of false teeth….he came to pick me up at Christmas play practice at church one time, and when I came out of the church he was standing in the parking lot talking to some men…WITHOUT HIS TEETH!!! I was so embarrassed!!! Yet another teeth story….Daddy hated his false teeth….so….after he ate supper…he would lay them on top of the refrigerator. I know that sounds totally gross…and I thought so, too…but, that was my Dad!!!
Daddy worked in sporting goods for many, many years, and the salesmen would give him samples to bring home. We were blessed with basketballs, baseball bats, softballs, baseballs….anything sporty. Daddy taught me how to throw a ball, and play basketball…and he played with us…didn’t just send us out to play…he got out there and played with us.
Daddy loved to hunt, and growing up he had “bird” dogs. They were those lanky, ugly dogs that he kept in a pen down back. I loved those dogs, except I was the one who had to go feed and water them. I loved them because my Daddy loved them!!! I wanted to go hunting with him but he never would let me. My Mom might have had some influence in that department.
Speaking of hunting....Daddy loved to quail hunt. He would bring the birds home, and dress them, and Mom would make quail dressing….if you’ve never had quail dressing…it was absolutely delicious. But, don’t ask my Mom what it tasted like…she would never take a bite!! I have to put a plug in for my Mom right here…she makes the best dressing…of any kind…in the whole world!!!!!
Daddy used to love to get us "lost". That was his term for driving and driving and making left turns and right turns onto little old back roads. He thought it was funny that we always thought we were lost, but, looking back, I think he knew exactly where he was going. Besides, he was my Daddy and he wasn't about to really get me lost!!! And..speaking of driving...every Christmas when I was a little girl...we would all pile into the car...Mom, my brother, and me...and he would take us and look at Christmas lights. Oh, that is such a wonderful memory!!!
I used to love it when he got home from work, because we ALWAYS ate supper as soon as he got home….see, my food addiction started early in life….I can still remember standing in the window, watching him get out of his brother’s car down at the road and walking up the driveway.
Mom taught me to sew, love her heart. That was probably a huge undertaking on her part…but…I remember making a pink dress one time, and it was hanging on a nail in the kitchen. His brother came to visit and he bragged and bragged on me making that pink dress to his brother. I was so proud…but, looking back, I am most proud of my Dad for being proud of me!!!
When Mom and Dad found out we were expecting a baby…you didn’t find out what you were having way back then (sorry, Jess, I’m not trying to say that you’re old)....when they would go to K-Mart, Daddy would look at the boy clothes and Mom would look at the girl stuff. Well, we had a girl, of course, you all know that already…the most wonderful daughter in the world, but I’ll save that story for another day!!! Jess weighed 8 lb 1 oz, and after I had her, Daddy and Mom watched them clean her up. Daddy couldn’t believe how big she was, and asked Mom if they got bigger after they were born…he couldn’t believe all that baby was in me…I could…I felt the kicks!!!
He loved me….I never…ever…doubted how much he loved me. He would pinch on me, and hug me, and joke with me. Oh, he would tell the silliest jokes…over, and over, and over…but I always laughed. He loved to tell jokes at the supper table. I can still remember one of them, but won't share it here...it wasn't dirty at all...just so silly...and now, I so much wish I could hear him tell it again!!!
When my Dad was feeling low…especially after he got so sick…he would want to talk to me. I think because I “petted” him….I know now that I got my compassion, my love for others, my willingness to help, even my tears…from my Daddy. I thank God for him…for blessing me with him….for giving me to him and Mom!!
When my Dad passed away…it was on a Sunday morning….I was at church, teaching a Sunday school class. Somebody came and got me and told me that he was sick and I needed to go home. Pappy and I went down to the house and my Mom was hysterical, of course. She was outside waiting on the ambulance....Dad's sister was with her. We went in the house and Daddy was lying on the couch. I knew he wasn’t going to make it…well, my head did, but my heart wouldn’t let go. I told him how much I loved him...and I swear...and I'm not a swearer...but...I swear...he couldn't speak, but I looked away, and when I looked back, his finger was at the corner of his mouth and his tongue was moving. I know in my heart of hearts that he was trying to tell me he loved me, too...one last time. Oh, the blessings that God gives us even in times of sorrow!!! The fire department from 4-way came and they told me I would have to leave the room. I told them, no, that I would just stay over in the corner, out of the way. And, no, he didn’t make it…but he is now healthy, and happy, and definitely not wearing an oxygen mask. I know there are no oxygen tanks in heaven!
And...as if loosing Dad wasn't bad enough...Pappy's Dad, my father-in-law, passed away on May 26, 1995, less than 6 months later. It was a lot of the same circumstances....Pappy and me were the only ones there, except his Mom...same fire department came...same following the ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital...same being asked to go into this little room so they could give us the bad news. I couldn't do it when father-in-law died...I knew what that little room meant...I could not make myself go in there. I not only felt sad for Pappy and me...but, for Jess. She lost both of her Papaw's less than 6 months apart at the age of 15. That was very difficult for her!!
So…Happy Father’s Day….
to my son-in-law….
and, to my brother!!!
And, to all of you wonderful Dads who will leave a legacy for your sons and daughters….
and memories that they will share thru their tears one of these days!!!
I love you, Daddy…
I never, ever doubted your love for me....
I sure hope you never doubted mine!!!