I’ll be honest – this one is a tough prompt for me. Not because I couldn’t think of anything to write about, but partly because I have so many great memories of my childhood and partly because they involve my dad, who passed away when I was 19. So…yea.
I love talking about my dad, but blogging about him? Not really the easiest thing for me to do because it’s so personal and I usually end up in tears. But, it’s all good – I love him dearly and miss him terribly and will spill some lovely memories of him here today.
That’s me and my dad up there. He was so cool, and I adored him. I’m the only child…daddy’s little girl. We were two peas in a pod, so much alike that we butt heads from time to time and mom would have to play peacekeeper. (Sorry, mom!)
My dad, well both of my parents, really, were the parents all of my friends wished they had. They were awesome. They were madly in love, flirted with each other, and didn’t care who saw it. It was so incredible to be brought up in a home overflowing with love.
These are my parents standing on the deck my dad built. We were in the Savannah newspaper because of that deck. Dad got the idea one day to build a deck behind our house, and in the true fashion of my dad, he built it big. It grew to be more square feet than our house! We had a hammock, built in benches, a hot tub….it was fabulous. The paper came and took pictures of us enjoying our deck and did a full-page write-up about us. The deck became my own personal roller skating rink!
This is part of a scrapbook I made for my dad just before he passed away. That picture in the top left cracks me up. We had a boat where we spent a lot of summer days. We would pick up a bucket of chicken on the way to the dock, ride the boat out to a sandbar, and play until the tide came in. Daddy would put the chicken bone in his mouth and wiggle it (like he’s doing in the picture) and say, “Hey my little chickadee!” Silly, I know, but a fond memory nonetheless.
Dad’s sense of humor is what everyone loved most about him. He used to tell me the nursery rhyme of Little Miss Muffet, and his version was a bit different from the original. It went like this:
Another page from his scrapbook… Dad was a ham. Put a camera or an audience in front of him and he put on a show. He helped set up the dance floor and decorations for my junior prom and, during set-up, started posing on the stage, hamming it up. During my 16th birthday party, he got into a food fight with my best friend who creamed him with a handful of cake in his face. And yes, in California at a winery, he pretended to drink straight from the barrel that served as the entrance to the winery.
He was hysterically funny. He was loud and wild and crazy and wonderful. Because of him, I know how to set up a campsite; talk about football, baseball, and NASCAR with the best of them; change a flat tire and my oil; laugh at my own stupid jokes; never meet a stranger; embarrass myself willingly; love like crazy; appreciate all types of music and sing like nobody’s listening…
I could go on and on about my dad. He truly left a legacy. He’s been gone for almost 16 years and my friends still talk about him fondly. You have no idea how happy that makes me feel. He was so incredible that my high school even honored him after his death.
You see, dad wasn’t just a fan of sports. He was a fanatic. And that included high school football. I began attending a new school in 8th grade, and we began attending every single football game from then on, home and away games. I didn’t cheer, I wasn’t in the band, but we went because dad loved it. Some of my favorite memories took place under the lights, huddled in the stands, cheering on my high school football team. Dad was loved by every fan, both parent and student alike. He knew all the cheers, led the wave while running up and down the bleachers, and knew every football player by name. In the fall, we lived for Friday nights.
After his death, my high school raised money for a new mascot uniform. And although I had graduated a year prior, they called my mom and I out onto the 50-yard line and presented the new uniform in honor of my dad. It was a hugely emotional day, and I realized at that moment that he touched so many in his short 47 years on this earth.
Follow along on Twitter using #31dayMarch, and follow me @onetuffmother.
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