Monday, June 29, 2009
I know Father's Day has passed but I still wanted to take some time to write about my dad. After losing his only son in an accident Daddy wanted a daughter. Back when I was born, waaaay back in 1973, ultrasounds weren't around yet. This meant my adopted parents had no idea if they were getting a son or daughter. Surprise! It's a girl.
I don't know what my earliest memory of Daddy is because there are several, most are good some are bad (but only because I got into some kind of trouble).
Maybe the earliest memory I have is crying when he threw my yellow blanket away. He thought it would help me to stop sucking my thumb. Mom felt so bad for me she went outside and cut off a corner for me to keep. Yes, I still have it.
I remember crawling onto his lap as he sat in his black leather recliner, a small glass of whiskey on the table next to him. No, he wasn't an alcoholic, not even close. When he got home from work he would change into his brown Obi-Wan Kanobi look alike robe, pour a small glass, and watch the news. This was back before remote controls so when he wanted the channel changed I would slide off his lap, change the channel, then scramble back up. He had a dark beard back then, too. On the weekends when he and Mom weren't playing tennis I was in the family room with him watching it on TV. We also watched John Wayne movies, Shirley Temple, Kung Fu, and those horrible Japanese movies with Godzilla.
After a tornado wiped out the tree in our backyard Mom and Daddy had a pool put in. Daddy had them make it shallow enough for me to stand in the shallow end and had a dolphin made of tile in the middle so my two older sisters and I knew where it started to get deep. Lots of wonderful family memories were made in and around that pool. Daddy built a grill out of stones leftover from the fireplace they had installed in our living room. Why he wanted a fireplace in a Florida house I don't know but more family memories were formed in that room. I remember grilling outside in the summer and cozy evenings in front of the fire in the winter. He even bought a popcorn popper so we could pop popcorn over the fire. We were much happier when we got our first microwave and some genius invented microwave popcorn. Mom quickly discovered scrambled eggs were NOT good cooked in the microwave.
Anyone remember when HBO debuted? Daddy sat with me every Sunday night while I watched Fraggle Rock. I still love that show. I remember when Daddy bought our first VCR. I taped Pretty in Pink and watched it so much I knew every word. I think he "accidentally" taped over it one time because he got tired of me watching it. When I got older I got my own VCR in my room and could tape and watch anything I wanted. I think they still have some of my video tapes floating around their house somewhere.
After my sisters went off to college Daddy took me shopping for school. He'd sit outside of the stores reading a book while I picked out the clothes I wanted. I'm still thankful for Mom teaching me to shop for bargains. We'd always stop in the bookstore, too. Daddy is the one who fueled my desire to read. We both still love to read whenever we can.
Once, my sisters and I were playing tennis with Daddy at a court near our house. I decided to ride my bike around the track (the tennis courts were in the middle). I took a turn too sharp and fell. Daddy put me on my banana seat bike and pedaled me home so Mom could tend to the very large road burn the length of my calf. I still have a scar. Another accident occurred in our driveway. I was sitting in Daddy's wheel barrow (I don't know why so don't ask) and the kid next door picked up the other end. I yelled the whole way up the driveway for him to stop and suddenly he let go (why he thought that was a good idea I'll never know). My chin hit the concrete garage floor splitting my chin open. Daddy held my hand as they stitched me up in the emergency room. My accident-proneness continued into my teen years...my driving teen years. My poor little 1989 Hyundai Excel (quit laughing, it got me from point A to point B for four years) slid into the back of an SUV (not my fault, honest) landing me in the ER again, this time with whiplash.
Daddy was the one who drove me to my tiny little Presbyterian college in the mountains for orientation. Then a few months later he and Mom left me on the steps of that college. I had never been away from them for longer than five days. We were now separated by four states. At the end of that year they came back but not to pick me up. I'd fallen in love and decided to marry my soul mate. Daddy stood next to me at the top of the stairs and squeezed my hand. I turned to him and said, "Daddy, don't give me away." He did it anyway because he loved me and knew I loved Hubby.
Daddy held me after I lost my son.
He loves each of my four kids and my sister's four kids. He still loves me even after all the crap kids put their parents through. Daddy and I have had an amazing adventure as father and daughter. Even at thirty-six I'm still Daddy's Little Girl. His love for me will always be in my heart. Forever.