Remember when we went fishing for the first time. Really fishing where you let me and my sisters hold our own poles, cast and reel, and everything? All three of us caught fish no bigger than ketchup packets, but you sure made a ruckus as though we were set to be featured in Field and Stream.
Remember the times you picked me up from school or a slumber party? More than a few times, my upper middle class friends would awe over the one father in the group who wore a leather jacket and did not talk like a banker. They all thought of you as the “cool dad.”
Remember when I bought you that huge heart shaped sucker for Valentines day when I was about six? I found it in your dresser drawer a few years later and was so sad that you did not like or eat the present I bought for you. Then you told me you saved it, cause you loved it so much. You said watching a girl with a sweet tooth as huge as mine give someone else a sugary treat was the greatest gift.
Remember when we built the house we moved into when I was seven years old? You hammered the nails and varnished the cabinets, but you told us girls as we were collecting stray nails (and probably just getting in the way) that we built the house as a family.
Remember when you felt I was finally old enough for your stories from Vietnam? You were always wondering if I was bored by them, but they are the most fascinating tales I have ever heard. I am very proud to have a father who served the way you did.
Remember when mom would go out of town? You always spent at least one night telling us girls a story about when you first dated. You’d always end them with, “Your mother is the prettiest lady in the world….I miss my wife.” Just tonight as we were driving, Max said to me, “How come Grandpa always calls Grandma ‘Becky’. He never calls her ‘wife’…well except for when he calls here something like sweet cheeks or babe.” I laughed so hard after this, Max told me I was going to cause a car accident.
Hearing the way you speak about my mother will always remind me to never settle for a man who does not love me at least half the amount that you love Mom.
I miss you dad. Happy Father’s Day!