Monday, February 07, 2005

I miss him

My dad died a week ago. It's too hard to talk about him without crying, so I thought I'd write instead.

If your dad was like mine, it's awful when he's gone. The one man in my life who always thought I was beautiful, intelligent, and who could be leaned on as much as I needed; the man who would never voluntarily abandon me. Such a sweet man, too; he loved mom to distraction, gave her anything she wanted (which she then would take back to the store because "we can't afford it" but was always pleased nonetheless at his extravagances).

His one flaw was that he could outnag anyone, but in such a gentle way you couldn't really get mad. During a difficult period in my life (after my divorce), the kids and I moved 7 times in 5 years. Dad (and Mom) helped with each move, even though they couldn't do a lot of lifting. Dad "supervised" in addition to helping Mom pack. One of the moves was to a slightly roomier townhouse a half block away; he must have told the kids a dozen times or more to "Ride the bikes down to your new place!" To this day, the kids and I both say "Ride the bikes down" when one of us has repeated something a few too many times.

Dad was a little guy, but he had a huge heart. He played high school football in the 30s, and despite his 5'7", 119 lb. frame, he and his team took state that year (apparently he could run like the wind). He jumped into the war right out of high school, and was on the Enterprise for the duration through some of the worst battles; after figuring out that seaman first class on deck wasn't what he wanted to be doing (he was still having nightmares and flashbacks about a fellow sailor who walked into a plane's propeller, among other things, even in his last year of life) he became a petty officer and assisted the captain on the bridge. His cousin, Terence, was on a destroyer accompanying the Enterprise, and they often managed to have conversations via signalmen.

He looked like a movie star in his pictures wonder Mom fell for him, even though they didn't like each other on their first date (a blind date; Mom's roommate was dating Dad's roommate).


Lori said...

I'm so sorry about your dad. Mine died 6 years ago and it's still hurts. A lot. Your dad sounds wonderful and a lot like mine - very sweet, loved my mom and gave her everything he could, intelligent... It is awful that he's gone and awful that yours is too. We'll always be their little girls and they'll be our dads.

Jodie said...

Thanks, Lori. You are right; they are always our Dads. :)