Sunday, June 15, 2014

To My First Love

I think it's safe to speak for all of us who have lost a parent that we dread 3 days of the year:  that parent's birthday, the date of their death, and Mother/Father's day. 

Dad holding me at one week old

On this day seven years ago my Dad was in the hospital fighting for his life after a double lung transplant.  One lung had already rejected.  I wish I had kept a journal of that time.  I can't recall if I was even in Indianapolis on what was to be his last Father's day.  It's difficult to even try to think back to that time; seeing my Daddy in a hospital bed in so much pain.

Dad holding his bald baby girl...he nicknamed me Fred

My brother sent me an email this week asking me if I thought our Dad would have been a good Grandpa to his son, Gage.  I replied that as great of a Father as he was to us, he would have been an even better Grandfather.  Don't you (imagined readers) find this to be true?  It seems to me that Grandparents kick butt!  They're like parents on steroids!

Bryan and Dad at Disney World (you can see where I get my chicken legs!)

I miss that mustached smile

Growing up, Dad worked second shift so weekends were when we saw him most.  He loved to play games, Battleship and Uno were a couple of our favorites.  We used to work on puzzles together for weeks at a time, starting with the edges of course!  He loved to listen to music and share his favorites. I remember he loved to put the headphones on my ears during Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' and have me listen for the music to go from one ear to the other during that "one part".  He loved woodworking in his garage and would carefully show me how to use the lathe or other long-since-forgotten tools. We loved watching old episodes of The Little Rascals and old Ma and Pa Kettle movies together. I used to sit in his lap while watching TV and I would ask him to marry me when I grew up.  He truly was my first love.

We really were stylish, believe it or not

So, do I think that he would have been a good Grandfather?  Hell yes.  As great a Grandfather as my Mom is a Grandmother.  And oh how I, how we all, wish he could have met Gage.  That's probably one of the toughest things about not having him.  Luckily he got to meet Eric and Cathy so he knew mine and my brother's significant others.  But I sure wish he could have met his Grandson. 

Our last boating trip together; he was sharing Vietnam stories...I always told him to write a book.

One of our last Christmas's

To all of you who still have your Father, give them a hug or a phone call today.  Keep posting your photos on Facebook (I love them!). And to my Dad, if you're able to hear me, thank you.  I love you and miss you.

His Son and Grandson

I miss you so much

"Understand that there's nothing that's going to be more precious in your life... And when you're on your death bed, that's the stuff you're going to remember - you holding hands with your daughter."
~Barack Obama 

"It's only when you grow up and step back from him - or leave him for your own home - it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it."
~Margaret Truman

"My Father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me."
~Jim Valvano

No comments:

Post a Comment