So yesterday was Father's day, an always hard to remember holiday even before my father's passing. It wasn't a day I gave much thought to, but for some reason as I sat in the early service in church it did, he did.
I miss my father.
To me was a genius, botanist, doctor and veterinarian, master craftsman, Mr. fix it, IT guy, adventure tour-guide, and I think he even worked for NASA. He could beat anyone in arm-wrestling as well as the computer at chess, perfect griller, master of flowers, created his own variety of corn, outdoor maze designer, built the worlds largest tree swing, zip-line, and one of the best people to have with you out at the lake. He had a great sense of humor, one of the best laughs, and could have one of the creepiest (if the situation or story called). My sisters and I got to be his hat and boots as we would hang all over him while he would walk us around. He would sit us and our friends in the crazy super swing he created on our hill and pull us way back, ask if we wanted to go to the moon...and then let us fly! During storms when the power would go out, it was his little orange tip of his cigarette you would look for to come bouncing up the stairs as we would all run and grab him to protect us.
My father was a family-man. After Christ himself, he taught us about the real definition of love thy brother (or sister in our case). That no matter what, you only got one family. One sister, mother, father, and no matter what they do, love forgives all. I can thank him for the closeness and bonds I feel with my sisters and brother-in-laws, and with my mother, and with him before he passed.
Coming from a very poor and rough childhood and not really knowing his own father or having a family was really like, he worked very hard to give us the life he did. He was a green beret in the army, and the most physically fit of his entire platoon. He was a medic while in the army and then left to go to complete college and worked as a campus cop full-time at the same time. Worked hard, constantly aiming to be the perfect dad before and after the tumor really took hold. And while things changed as the brain tumor took over more and more, his passion didn't. He would wake up before 5am, make coffee, breakfast, feed the dogs, warm my mom's car (if needed) and see us off to school. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to.
Daddy had his faults, we all did and still do. But loving us was something he was amazing at. While I may not have gotten to have the normal childhood most do, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Even near the end I can recall things like cleaning his nails for him, just talking...joking with him about Stanford and Son, listening to his often painful life stories, and just gleaning what I could of his intelligence. He was quick to brag on all of us, even for the little things: mom's coffee, my tea, and especially Dan's birthday steak and lobster. Always thankful and appreciative for our help.
Nearing the end I can remember that all he wanted was to hold my mother's hand. He was okay as long as she stood beside him, as she always had. The one true love of his life and hers hand-in-hand. The pain was bearable as long as he was connected to his soul-mate. I can only hope that one day soon God will bless me with a love as strong as theirs with my own soul mate.
The last moments he waited for all three of us as well as my mother to be around him before he said his "I love yous" and departed to be with God and watch over us from above. Now we all await the day that we will one day join him, hug him, love him.
I hope you had a happy heavenly Father's Day daddy.