I’m going to try and remember I don’t want to miss you today. Not today. I miss you enough every other day of the week, sometimes so much that it hurts. It’s Father’s Day and as I’m being woken up by two sets of knees and elbows to the organs in my lower digestive system with surgical precision by the kids, I don’t want to miss you, I want to remember you.
Remember when I made you homemade cards, got you ugly ties, sticks of deodorant, and coupons for free hugs. Remember the strength you had in your arms. It was a strength that made me think you really were the superhero I believed you to be.
How I followed you around, standing by your side next to your workbench, trying to remember the difference between a wrench and the pliers when you asked for one as you worked on the car.
Or throwing Duck Rocks while you and Christa fished, doing my best not to fall asleep playing Coma, how good Hungarian Pizza really was, why you always had a roll of duct tape in the house, and remembering how excited I was to hear your car pull into the driveway after a 3 night work trip.
Standing in front of me teaching me how to tie a necktie the right way (and the secret of never having to tie it again by loosening it and slipping it over my head). Teaching me how to shave, what button to fasten when I wore a blazer, how you gave me $20 for my first “real” date, and the first time you handed me the keys to your car.
Watching you fix the garbage disposal, toilet, lamp, chair, downspouts, and anything else that broke in the house. The tools you used are in my tool box now fixing many of the same things they did for you. Hopefully I learned enough to keep from electrocuting myself.
Listening to Sunday’s with Sinatra on your car stereo. Sometimes I think you drove further than you had to just to listen to one more song. I hated it then but what I wouldn’t give for a trip through Squedunct to listen to it with you now.
Just how much we laughed at your bald spot and how karma has come back to get me because your grandkids take great pleasure in laughing at mine.
I watched as you sunk deeper into alcoholism. I watched as your life was almost lost to it. I saw a man who had demons he had to wrestle with.
I quietly cried tears of joy as I got you back when you got sober.
The look on your face when you saw Hannah for the first time and seeing it again when Emma was born was a look I hadn’t seen since Megan and Joey were born. A look I don’t know if I ever saw on your face after that.
Our Saturday morning rides just driving, talking, drinking way too much coffee, and praying the oatmeal raisin cookies you bought for Hannah, sitting in the backseat, would hold her off long enough so we could spend some time together.
I was your best audience for your quips, quotes, one-liners, and your bad jokes. Yet, I always laughed. Always.
Being with you in the hospital as we said our final goodbyes and ‘I love you Dad’. Being able to leave nothing left unsaid has helped over these past 7 years.
As a kid, I knew I wanted to grow up to be either Captain America or just like my Dad. I’m so happy I ended up like you. I have worked every day to make you proud of me and the name I am so honored to share with you.
I’m going to remember you so your memory and your life can be remembered by the kids.
And finally, on Father’s Day Dad, I’ll do my best and try and remember I don’t want to miss you.