Mourning the loss and yet rejoicing in the memories......
The oldest memory of my dad I have is when I was young, probably early elementary school. Dad would always be gone for work or leaving for work when I got up in the morning. But it was when he came home at night that intrigued me. Every night when dad came home no matter what time he would take a shower and shave. It was funny, really funny. In fact as a kid I thought all dads took two showers and shaved twice a day. It was the same way with cars.
Growing up we always had a new car. I think we had a new car almost every 6 months sometimes. It was cool for us because the cars were always clean, and some of them were just plain out cool. Once my parents owned a corvette, I think they owned two different Cameras, at least two different "tricked out" vans, and countless others. This also warps your view of cars as a child because you don't realize that cars do wear out, need maintenance, and do get messy after a while. So it took me awhile to figure out how to take care of a car that I owned past a year or two. But I do remember my parents having one old car, it was a Corvair.
The old Corvair had been my parents car when they first got married. And when I was in 4th grade, maybe 5th grade my dad decided that he wanted to bring that "old" car home from Lebanon, Oregon where my grandparents lived and stored the "old" car. So, one weekend after visiting with my grandparents, my parents drove the "old" car home. I can't remember which parent drove the "old" car. I just remember riding in it, getting frustrated because it only drove 25 mph(mind you Lebanon is a 90 minutes drive from Portland at the rate of 60 mph) and every 5 to 10 minutes back firing on us. We did make it home to Portland though there were problems and whining kids. And looking back now I laugh, the sheep out in the fields ran like jack rabbits each time that car back fired.
The memories are what brings comfort. Thinking about the moments when my dad got to sit with my kids, laugh with their funny stories, or just spend time with them watching a show. My dad was one who loved his grand kids. I remember after his seizure in 2010 he would come over every Wednesday night to have dinner with us. And it never failed that Jacob would want to play FIFA soccer game. Now if you have ever seen any of the newer sports video games they look kind of real. And each time dad would walk in the room he would ask Jacob what game he was watching. "No, grandpa this is just a video game" would be Jacob's response every time.
My kids loved having grandpa over, and they were really good about some of the tougher moments. There were times he would ask the same questions five or six times in a row, or he would just plain forget something all together. If discussion became to long, or to loud dad would get a little testy. It did not matter to my kids. Every week, even when I was tired or plain just not in the mood, the kids would look at me to ask when are you going to pick up grandpa. Or when's grandpa going to be here for dinner? For them it was a chance to spend time with someone they loved and someone who loved them.
On November 26, 2013 my dad went to go live with the Lord. For me it was a special week. With the help of my mom, my family, my brother, and a very special group of friends we were able to help my dad through hospice into the next season of life. I got to spend time with my dad during those few days to see him talk with God, see him see his mom, and come to peace with saying good bye. These will be the most treasured memories.
For those that still have your dads, please hear me. Treasure the memories you have. Make new memories each and every day. And no matter the relationship you have with your dad bad or good, remember every little girl still loves and longs for their dad.
I loved my dad. And today I have special memories of my dad, but each day a hurts. Even though I know my dad loved me, even though I know my dad is in a better place he is still not here. And that is what makes it hurt. I know in a blink of an eye I will see him again. And in blink of an eye I will be in my Saviors arms rejoicing the fact I had a pretty great dad.