13 years ago today my Dad died. He was not old. He was not ready. He still had a lot of life to live, but still, 13 years ago today my Dad died. He was a remarkable man. Full of life and love and talent and more personality than any one person should be allowed. He could do anything. I mean that. I never saw him throw his hands up and say ‘I give up’. He played the drums (self taught)….fished, camped, sang, gardened, cooked, danced, played golf and could build absolutely anything from a thought in his head. He was a dog man. He loved his dogs like children…he would argue that that was not true…but it was. He could (and did) make friends with anyone including the person in line next to him at the grocery store. He loved practical jokes and was the life of any party. He wore a cowboy hat and boots even though he lived his whole life in New England. He played pool and loved cards and dice…cribbage and horseshoes. He was competitive as all get out and would get mad if he lost…lol….it’s awful, but totally true.
He would cry when he got my new school pictures and one time when I lost a bunch of weight he casually told me while we were driving somewhere in his truck that I ‘really should stop because I didn’t look like Nikki anymore’. He was affectionate and warm. He had a short fuse and was explosive (Am I describing him or me?) He was generous and had eyes that sparkled when he laughed….kinda like a little kid up to no good.
Recently a fellow blogger asked us to share one of our favorite memories from our childhood. I said this: My Dad worked nights and when he would come home in the middle of the night he would make himself something to eat, ending with him laying on the couch watching old movies and eating popcorn. I would get up and stand at the end of the couch behind his head, silent and watching with him till he would say…Come on Nikki…then I would climb up and plop my butt behind the curve of his knees and let my legs hang over his….and he would share his popcorn while we watched that old movie. I was very little when this happened yet I can still remember how safe I always felt with my Dad.
My parents divorced when I was still very young and our relationship changed greatly. We had some tough years, but we figured it out and I’m so grateful that we did.
My Dad’s death had a profound effect on me. I’ve shared my story before on my last blog. It’s not really important today, but I’ve struggled deeply to come to terms with his death. I can’t say that I have. It’s something that comes and goes. One year it may hit me hard…the next not as much…this is one of the bad years.
One thing that I can say, is that for the first time this year, I’ve thought a lot about my life and what I’m doing to enjoy it…make the most of it. So maybe that means I am coming to terms with his death. I don’t want to be sad about it anymore. I want to be at peace with it…and possibly, living my life to the fullest is the best way to find that peace in my life and not only that…but to honor his life as well.
Thanks for Reading~