He is still my Dad.
I don’t know why I feel the way I do today. Maybe it’s from the short, dark cold winter days. Maybe it’s because I’m older and just getting tired. Or maybe it’s just because I am me, and that’s the way I am.
Today is the first anniversary of my father-in-law’s death and I see so many posts on Facebook from his family and the memories they share. How they miss him and all the things they remember doing or learning from him. It made me think of my own father.
I find it so hard to relate to anyone who lost their father later in their life time. All the memories they have of them and stories to tell. It must be great to have had a father to be there for them when they are in their 30’s 40’s 50’s or 60’s and beyond. And to lose them after all that time must be devastating. But I can’t say, or be able to tell them I know how they feel.
See I lost my dad when I was 15 years old and at 62 years of age now I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I listen but it is hard to understand all the stories and memories they have of their fathers.
I don’t have many memories of my dad but the ones I have I cherish. You see my father never did many things with me, but he was still my dad. I don’t ever remember going hunting or fishing with him. He never taught me how to throw a ball or ride a bike, but he was still my dad. He never showed me how to drive a car, but he did teach me to drive a tractor.
We never went to a ball game together, unless you count the ones I watched from my aunt and uncle’s house in Hofa Park, when we went to visit on Sunday afternoons, but he was still my dad!
I remember helping him in the garage and working on cars and in the garden, but I never remember having a heart to heart talk with him, but he was still my dad.
I never remember him telling me he loved me or was proud of me, though I knew he did and was, but he was still my dad. My dad never met my wife or had lived to have enjoyed spending time with my children, but he was still my dad.
He did teach me how to play Sheepshead and Smear but was not around long enough to enjoy time together to do those things, but he was still my dad. He taught me not to be afraid of the storm and to be in awe of the beauty and power of lighting, even though I may be beginning to lose some of that.
Maybe he knew his time was short with me and didn’t want me to be dependent on him’ to think I couldn’t go on without him. For as the song goes, “And the day he died, all he left us was alone.” But he was still my dad.
I do remember the first brand new bike he bought me and how we tried to figure out how it shifted gears and wondered how those little rubber pads could work as brakes. I remember how he always loved the same present for Christmas, a new pocket knife, because the one he got last year was worn out. Yup he was my dad!
I don’t have many pictures of my dad, and even fewer ones of us together, and I am beginning to forget what he looked like. But he was still my dad.
If you got this far reading, you may think I am having a pity party, but I’m not. I am just telling you to hang on to all the memories you have, share them with your families, and keep telling the stories. but don’t judge me if I can’t relate.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing the stories and enjoy the excitement it brings for those telling them. I just get overwhelmed and I’m just trying to hang on to the few I have.
Even though I may be telling the samething’s over and over it is all I have, to help me remember he is still and will be forever my dad.