Sunday, June 21, 2009

Miss you, Dad

Without writing for the next six hours about the relationship I had with my dad, I'm going to try to sum up a list of memories I have of him.

Dad, I remember....
1. "wrasslin" with you when I was a kid
2. the pancakes you made me that were bigger than the plate. I still don't know how you ever flipped those suckers.
3. reading bedtime stories to you because you couldn't read very well.
4. sitting on your lap steering while you worked the "foot feet" in the car when I was 10
5. when you whipped the hell out of Duchess for bucking me off when I was 5
6. that Christmas when you and Mom tricked me by wrapping up a Cabbage Patch Kid as a gift to you and you told me to unwrap "your" present.
7. the time you took PeeWee, our lamb, to the auction house and came home with two goats (I can't believe Mom didn't strangle you)
8. fishing with you on the Skunk River bridge
9. the silver heart pendant you gave me for Christmas the year mom died (which I still have)
10. how your hand felt resting over the top of mine when you gave me away at my first wedding.

There are sad memories, too...
1. Standing in our driveway crying on my 8th birthday because you had to leave on a run (he was a truck driver)
2. Seeing you tied up to so many tubes in '83 when you had your heart attacks
3. Having you leave for good without so much as a goodbye or an explanation when you and mom divorced
4. Not having you there when I got remarried
5. Missing my chance to tell you goodbye before the cancer took you away.

I visit your grave, but not as often as I should, I suppose. I guess, to me, you're not there. You're on a run somewhere. You're calling us collect once or twice a week and you're loving the hell out of life. You're puffin' away on a cigarette or drinkin' a Schlitz. You're cussing out somebody who's pissed you off. You're lovin' up on mom, even though she never really got all that mushy with you. You're listening to Red Sovine on your tape deck and fudging your log books just a little. You're getting mouthy with the waitress because you know she secretly loves a good debate. You're on the riding lawnmower cutting the grass in our monster-sized yard. You're on a fishing boat in Minnesota catching a hoard of walleyes. You're giving us kids a dirty look for the bald jokes we flip at you. You're laughing that goofy laugh of yours. You're out there somewhere where it doesn't hurt...where life isn't hard...where unconditional love is the only love you experience. You're happy...and smiling...and watching over us kids and the grandbabies.

Not a day goes by when I don't think about you, Dad.

I miss you...and I'm sorry for the things I lost out on in your life.

I love you so much.

Daddy's Girl

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