He loved to travel. He loved the mountains. Lakes. Fishing. Beautiful views.
He was quiet and reserved but didn't hesitate to speak his mind when push came to shove.
He only wanted to retire. Enjoy his golden years. He didn't get to. Unless you call 6 months of disability "retirement." I don't.
He was at my high school graduation. He'd already had colon cancer twice by then.
He was at my college graduation. On that day, he said "I'm proud of you." That was one of MY proudest moments. His words. Not the graduation.
Bad jokes. So many bad jokes - he just laughed at himself and it was only a matter of time before I was laughing too.
Blue eyes, with green just around the pupils. Same as mine.
He had such a great sense of adventure and loved roller coasters, heights, and any other adrenaline pumping thrill. Same as me.
He held my hand and I sat on his lap until I was probably too old by society's standards. A complete Daddy's Girl.
He loved music - playing, singing, listening. He recorded favorite songs off of the radio when I was little and we listened to those tapes in the car for YEARS. Those songs are the soundtrack of my childhood.
His smile, I can still see. Big teeth. Mine are little.
He always said, "give me a hug, you big lug" when we were parting ways. And he ALWAYS said, "come back and see us."
He loved comfort food and sweets. PB + Chocolate was his favorite flavor combination.
He liked shooting baskets in the driveway. Playing H-O-R-S-E.
He taught me to hit a baseball. "Watch the Ball, Hit the Bat."
He wasn't much for talking on the phone.
His voice. I miss his voice.
He called me on March 23, 2007 and said "I have pancreatic cancer. I'm dying."
My sister called me on July 21, 2007 and said "I think you better get down here."
His hands. It wasn't until he was dying that I realized how much our hands looked the same. His fingers had gotten so thin and bony and were practically mirror images of my own. Nail shape. Finger length. Hand twins.
He said he wasn't afraid of dying, he just didn't want to be in pain.
He died around 2am on July 23, 2007. It's been seven years. How has it already been seven years? Most days I'm fine. This is life now. Life without a dad. My kids don't know him. They never will, aside from the stories they hear and the pictures they see. The home videos we'll watch that are so few.
I'll risk sounding like one of my young children and pout out loud, "IT'S NOT FAIR!" It's not fair to him that he's not here. It's not fair to me, my mom, my sister, or any of his grandkids. He was only 55 years old. It's not fair. Maybe some people think I'm wallowing in self-pity. Maybe I am. But allowing myself to feel the pain and remember his characteristics and qualities is what helps keep his memory alive in my heart.
"Only time moves on to the next scene. Memory remains part of the heart forever."
Previous posts about losing and missing my dad HERE.