Today I had just commented to Dean that I hated getting old, but that it sure beats the alternative.
Today was also the same day as our church Christmas program…Like it was 3 years ago.
It was the same day I waited in the hall, crying and waiting for Frank, our funeral home guy, to come and pick up my dad for the last trip down Hwy. 150, a road that held so many memories for our family.
For some reason knowing that Frank was there to take him “home” gave me a little comfort.
Yeah, I know a 50 year old woman should say, “Dad” or “Father”, but I had always called my dad “Daddy” and it never crossed my mind to change.
It seems like we had said goodbye to him so many years earlier.
Our 3rd child was just 2 when we had the first of many trips to the hospital with my dad, and it was the beginning of so many unanswered questions.
Now knowing our family health history I suspect I have a better idea of what was happening, but since he was the oldest, and hated to go to a doctor to start with, there weren’t any leads to figure out what was wrong and how to make him better.
That was a small part of his life though, compared to all of the good memories I had of him.
He was a Ford Truck loving guy, like his granddaughter that he really didn’t have much of a chance to influence.
He bragged a lot about finishing his math book in school, in a short time, and I like to think the love of numbers is also reflected in one of his grandsons.
His dislike of the cops, (because they were always catching him doing something wrong) would be ironic since he has another grandson working in the law enforcement department, but I could see the two chuckling at good guy vs. the bad guy stories, much in the same style of storytelling.
His fascination with health and how our bodies worked, is also apparent in another granddaughter.
Caring for older people is also in yet another of the granddaughters.
The desire to just work, work hard, and better than everyone else is apparent in all of the kids.
I imagine he would have been so thrilled with the humor of his oldest great granddaughter, and I could see him gloating over how smart all the great granddaughters were had he lived…much like he did when the grandkids were little. As I watched our 3rd granddaughter this week I only wished that he had been there to listen to this little girl talk, he would have loved it.
I see some of his same characteristics in a cousin and an uncle, who is looking more like my dad every day.
In all of these people I see a bit of him.
Me, well I just got his incredible gift of just saying what I think along with a healthy dose of sarcasm, something I think all of the kids got a healthy dose of. *cringe*
I also was given the gift of seeing how someone else may not be as fortunate as I am so I learned to cut them some slack, and lend them a hand if you can. Whether it is a word, a pat on the back, a few bucks, some groceries, whatever it is, do it.
So hey, he didn’t get to stick around long enough, and gave so much. Seems like it’s always the good ones they say, that go young. He wasn’t that young, but he wasn’t that old either.
It’s weird when you lose someone, especially when they were “gone” so long before, that was the case with him.
The last time he talked to him was June 21, 2009, it was both his birthday and Father’s day. I remember my sister and had gone up together to visit him at the care center,  and saw that he was “there” and immediately called the husbands to bring the grandkids up. We had gotten him a raspberry sundae from Dairy Queen, and as he ate that, he asked about all the things we had talked to him about, not knowing if he had heard them.
That day was such a gift to us.
I suppose he also knew all the times we just sat with a hand on his shoulder and silently wept as we watched him lay in his bed, and hopefully he knew that it was because we loved him and couldn’t stand to see what life had dealt him.
So as we mark this third anniversary without him, we know he is definitely much better off.
If there was one thing we knew, it was that he knew where he was going.
Most nights you’d find him with his Bible cracked open on his knee, and he’d be pondering something he read. He had his study Bible, his concordances and his dictionary close at hand all to understand that one book. It wasn’t one of those wimpy versions, it was the old King James that he liked.
He raised us in church, and when he was on the road in his semi, he always found a church on Sunday morning. That was just part of life for him and us.
Not a bad way to grow up, something much more rare today, and quite frankly I think our society shows it.
But anyway, before I take that rabbit trail, I just wanted to take the chance to again say, “Thanks Daddy, you did well. We’ll see you!”