Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Dad......

For some crazy reason my Dad has really been on my mind a lot lately. So many times I get very emotional due to the fact that he will never see my children on this earth. I have so many wonderful memories of him - from me being little bitty to when I thought I was an adult......if I only knew then what I know now. I have a great friend, Martha, who told me once,"never regret your past mistakes as long as you learn from them".

Today we took our boat to the lake to run it prior to listing it for sale. The boat parking area was LOADED with trucks and trailers. Immediately I thought of my dad, He loved to fish every chance he got. I fondly remember him going to the lake to get our camping space mid-week while there was still work to be done by my parents and school to be attended by us kids. Once Friday arrived we had the best space and off to the lake We went. We would fish, ski, ride our bikes, roast marshmallows. Once I wrecked my bike pretty bad and needed stitches in my foot. After stitches we returned to the camper. I needed a shower but couldn't get my foot wet. He came up with this bright idea to put the wonder bread bag over my foot with a rubber band around it at my calf so no water got on it!

My Dad was a no non-sense kind of guy. Nothing around our house "just broke". There was always a reason why something broke and it was usually due to us kids. He made sure we took responsibility and understood our actions had consequences. I must admit that my brothers had more consequences than me, the youngest baby girl. Once I got caught going out when I was supposed to be home. My parents were at a Valentine's dance. I decided to go to some friends house and watch a movie while they were gone. Well, my grandmother who lived across the street some how informed my parents that I wasn't home like I should have been And you will never guess who was waiting on me when I got home..... Yea my Dad and Mom. It wasn't good to disappoint him because the talks he gave were heart wrenching about how I disappointed him! He also had a very funny side that was seldom seen by others except those very close. That same time I got caught sneaking away, my Mom was losing it, crying, saying "we are going to have to put you in the girl's home" ( a home for troubled or abused girls). My Dad just laughed, bent me over his knee and spanked me saying "you're not going to the girls home". He and I were laughing the whole time......I was 16 years old and getting a spanking!

I was mad when he retired because he made me do my chores directly after school. I had it down pat to what time my parents would be getting home for the evening and I wouldn't do my chores until just before they got home. He changed that. I never learned to cook as a kid. My brothers did all the cooking. Once I tried to cook pork chops, my Dad said we could have filled the pot holes in the drive way with my pork chops.... I told him not to worry, I would either marry a man who could cook or I would marry rich and not have to cook.

He taught me to ride a bike. He took me to get 50 stitches in my arm once. We were fishing together and I cut my arm really bad. He took off his white t shirt from under his outer shirt and used it as pressure bandages until we could get to the hospital. I remember waking up from surgery, yes it was that bad, and wanting some cereal. He went to get it for me, frosted flakes.

My dad got sick too young in his life. He smoked many years leading to cancer of many organs. It was only a short while that we had him on earth after his diagnosis. He was a pretty humorous cancer patient on good days. Once after all his hair fell out we went for a treatment. He decided to try on all the wigs, even the ladies! I introduced him to PF Changs chinese food after chemo treatments. He introduced me to Denny's grand slam breakfast platters. He got pretty sick once when I was in the Netherlands on business. I flew home and went straight to the hospital to see him. We laid in the skinny hospital bed together watching Fried Green Tomatoes and then sumo wrestling. I was still a Daddy's girl at 24.

At his funeral we had bagpipes. It was rainy and cold on the day we burried him. When the bagpipes played oh they were so terrible. I actually started laughing out loud because I knew he was just rolling over in his grave listening to that awful sound. We would sit on the edge of the bed and sing Rocky Top when I was little. He would play the guitar and we would sing. Oh how he loved country music, old stuff like George Jones and Willie Nelson. When ever I got flowers from him, it would always be 11 yellow roses with a note saying I was the 12th one....

I have just recently been flooded by memories of him... There are so many more, that keep jumping into my head.... If I wrote them all, this post would go on forever. My Dad was pretty awesome guy. He only had one bad attribute - he held grudges something terrible. He has taught me through all of this that is not how I want to live. Grudges only hurt the person holding them. He loved my Mom so much to the point of jealousy I think. My Mother is and was such an independent woman, that was hard to handle. I look at it like this, he loved her so much that he wanted to be with her all the time.

It makes me cry to know that my kids won't know my Dad, but I can tell them stories and that is the best part that I have to hold on to. Even though he was firm he was the best Dad ever.