After several months of sliding away, my father finally passed late in the evening this past Friday. He was a flawed man, as almost all of us are, but he was also well loved. We will certainly miss him.
To put our relationship into perspective, I had very few memories of my father from my early childhood as he was never around. He was in the Air Force and had several overseas assignments which led to the divorce of my parents really early in my life. I am glad that I have no memories of that event. During my childhood, I would hear from him rarely and I would see him on even fewer occassions.
After I had left the house and started out on my own, I finally got to know him. He was opinionated, and he was extremely stubborn. At least I learned where I got it from. He cared about us children and his grandchildren, but he really didn’t know how to show it. He visited during the holidays after he retired, and he tried to become a bigger part of our lives later on. I just wish that I knew him as well when I was a child.
As I write this, I recall one of my favorite stories about my father. I was visiting him at his home in Florida after he retired. My grandfather also was visiting at the time. My father and grandfather took a trip to the nursery to get a large indoor plant. I think it was a fern tree of some kind. Anyways, he and my grandfather had to hold the plant in the car and it was so tall they had to put it through the sun roof of the car. They drove all the way back from the nursery holding the plant and trying to protect it from the wind. They carefully got it out of the car and carried it into the house. Thus, the dramatic moment… My father carried the plant in explaining the trip and was feeling proud of getting the plant there. He took about three steps into the house while he told us the story of the trip. I can still hear the *wop* *wop* sound as the ceiling fan chopped off about four inches of the plant as he walked into the house, and I can still see the utter exasperation on his face as he looked up to see the pieces falling into his face.
I will miss him, but he will certainly be a part of the rest of my life. Good bye Dad.