It’s late and I really should be drifting off to sleep by now, but tonight’s a tough one for me because tomorrow is Father’s Day. It’s been seven years without him…
I got to thinking tonight about how I’m my father’s daughter. He taught me that the glass is always half full when my mom would lead me to believe otherwise. Thankfully his version of the truth always stuck. I am grateful that I am as good-natured and even tempered as my father. My dad taught me to go with the flow. He liked the phrase, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.”
He drove an 18-wheel tractor trailer until I was 13 years old and made the decision to stop driving when he realized that he missed out on too much of my childhood being on the road. But he was never ashamed that he made his living driving a truck because he never really wanted to do anything else. He fulfilled his life long dream to drive across the country and left driving behind to work as a janitor.
He always wanted to visit Alaska and see the Grand Canyon. He told me that when he got older he wanted to rent an RV and just drive.
I know my dad was proud of me because he would tell me all the time. He was never uncomfortable about it. I think it was especially important to him that I knew how much he loved and was proud of me because his dad never told him anything like that when he was growing up other than negatively comparing him to his older brothers. My dad and I had an affectionate relationship and I miss hugging him.
One of the hardest things to come to terms with after he died was that I couldn’t sit across the kitchen table from him anymore to share crazy work stories or just talk. I was on my own.
My dad loved a good steak. I can remember that he knew where his priorities were when payday hit-visit the downtown butcher for meat and pay the bills last. He was a simple guy and never had any problem doing the things that made him happy.
He cried like a baby the day I gave him the huge framed print of him and I on my wedding day. He said it was the best present he ever received in his life and I knew he meant it.
I bet Father’s Day is tough on the people who don’t have good memories of their dad. I bet they wish the holiday didn’t even exist. As painful as this day is on me every year, the tears I cry are worth it because they remind me of how lucky I was growing up with such an amazing father.
I live every day of my life to honor his memory. I do it by looking after my mom and protecting her when he cannot. I appreciate the beauty in my own life knowing how much he loved beautiful things like flowers and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
And most importantly, I honor my father by experiencing the fresh pain of his loss every June 19th because it was one of his favorite days of the year. He loved being my father.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. I will always remember…..