Remembering My Dad

Yesterday I wandered into the card aisle at Walgreens and found myself perusing Father’s Day cards when suddenly out of nowhere…tears had made their way to my cheeks. My Dad has been gone for 5 years now and I still find myself looking at Father’s Day cards. However, most of the time, remembering my Dad usually brings a smile to my face.

I watched a little boy about 8 years old looking for a card for his Dad and it made my heart sing because he found one of those super oversized cards that sings and that’s what he wanted. I asked him about his choice and he said, “I like this one because this one says how great my Dad is.” I melted.

My Dad was a character in so many ways. He loved life and for me, when I was growing up, he was bigger than life. He had a robust personality and he knew how to have a good time. Dad could pretty much have a good time anywhere and he used to celebrate his birthday for like a month!

He taught me to surf (I hated surfing). He taught me to ski (I loved skiing).

I’m quite stylish don’t you think?

He taught me to ride a horse and not be afraid.

This picture just cracks me up. That’s my brother asleep in his arms!

He taught me to swim like a fish. Mostly he taught me to try and to keep trying.

He taught me to appreciate and respect nature and its glory. I’m pretty sure he’d love Franklin except for the fact that there is no beach. Dad loved the ocean.

When I was a little girl he drove me to school and we played this game in the car where he’d reach over and hold my hand and he’s squeeze it three times and that meant, “I love you.” I’d squeeze back four times, “I love you too.” He’d squeeze twice, “How much?” and I’d squeeze as hard as my little hand could, to say “This much.” Then I’d repeat it with him.

He wasn’t a singer, but he used to sing Scarlet Ribbons, by Harry Belafonte to me and when I hear it today…I crumble.

Isn’t it funny the things we remember most after we lose a parent?

This picture is when he flew to Washington DC on Honor Flight with other WWII Veterans.

Our last Father’s Day was spent at a rehab facility where he was recuperating from many hospital stays. Rehab facilities are not the best places to celebrate special days, but somehow my Dad found happiness in having his whole family with him – dogs included. He cried. He always cried when he was happy. We brought him all his favorite food and I’m pretty sure I sneaked a beer in there, too. At the time I thought it was a horrible Father’s Day…but oh what I give to do it all over again.

I wish he could see me now, because I think he’d be proud of me. This Sunday, I’ll be remembering my Dad and hoping that if you have your Dad…you hug him hard and tell him how much he means to you. If you’ve had a falling out, try and make restitution…find a way to make it okay.

My Dad was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he was my Dad and he was a good man and I sure do miss him.

He adored Kaitlyn and she him.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy. I love you.

Share your Dad story with me in the comments below. I’d love to read them.


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