….Happy Birthday Daddy!

This is one of those times where it feels like even though there’s so much on my plate as a Marine wife, mother, Girl Scout junkie, podiatrist, confidant, doctor, consoler, grief counselor, nurse, chocolate and wine expert, carpool, soon to be homeschool mom, multi-tasker, chef, artist, couch potato writer and veterinarian that I have to stop for a minute and realize the date for a second.
So my sister had a dream about daddy.  It was pretty cool so I hope she doesn’t get mad at me for writing about it but she said she’d dreamt but what felt real that she’d gone over to visit momma and was just sitting at the kitchen table chit chatting when dad just gingerly walked out of the bedroom clear as day.  After she picked up her jaw she asked him, “What are YOU doing here?! You’re supposed to be dead.”  He basically told her that she was right and that he was okay.
It was pretty neat to hear & I wish I could have one like that.  Just to know that he looked real good and he is okay ‘from the horse’s mouth’ would comfort my heart and it did as she told me her story.  As I write this I sit in his old one pocket t-shirt that’s worn from the days he used to put in cigarette packs or tissue and stretch out the pockets.  When I first got this shirt from mom I only wanted it and some of his socks mainly because it was his we worn the same size (I used to use them all the time anyways) but it also smelled like him which was a HUGE plus but that almost killed and comforted me at the same time.  It’s his birthday today and it is a good day to reflect again on him and how he helped shape me.
I would’ve never known how to fish or seen someone go into the water to catch a catfish if not for mom & daddy.
I was spoiled rotten because I was the baby (no matter what my sister says)
I would’ve never realized how important family is without mom & dad because after Sammy, Cassie and Granny Little died everyone kind of clung closer to one another and I didn’t realize why but now that dad’s gone I do.  Life is precious and limited.
I never realized how alike I am to him and mom because without my sister-in-law, Kathie, my sisters and momma’s memories of my childhood I often overlook that we’re all different ages but are bonded together in more ways than one by the two of them raising us.
The list can go on and on…..
Time heals wounds.  Whoever said that is full of shit…lol. No not really but about half right.  I agree that it heals your heart by easing your grief but your mind is a whole other ocean of emotions.  When I sit back and think about the time that has come and gone since my dad has passed I think about the birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, life changes and everything that has occurred without him.  Sitting here now I still want to call mom and ask for dad to tell him happy birthday!  We’d all go over and hand him lottery tickets or money or food but can’t anymore.  That gets me every time.
Hell he would have never guessed the price of a gallon of gas or anything else these days or that McCain would lose and we have the president we do.  Jokingly and sarcastically maybe but never in a million years would he have thought it would have came true. Ha!
He would have loved to see my sister kick cancers ass considering he passed away from it.  Everything simultaneously was smashed together 3 years ago today; her diagnosis, daddy’s illness and then passing which was incredibly hard on all of us but no one more than my sister.  That’s enough stress to make anyone crumble but like always she showed grace, strength, and still is amazingly inspiring through it all.
He would have been worried and excited to know I moved across the country.  He always had high hopes for me but we never thought I’d leave Texas ever!  He’d be surprised at how 3 years could completely change a persons’ life for the better.  I wish he could see my house, how my Chevy truck is still kickin’, how these ‘hippies and gold rush folks’ out here do more than surf and smoke pot all day like most Texans think and that they do have decent bar-b-que here.  I wish he could see my Wyatt Earp and Cody they love momma and I know daddy would have reluctantly loved them too.
He would have never guessed my momma would have gotten on an airplane and lived to tell the tale and several times at that!!  She got on her first one to come and visit me in California and has been on the move ever since.  She’s accomplished so much and come a long way to even retire from her job.  She misses her best friend and companion of 40+ years and to know a love of that magnitude then to let it go has to be the hardest thing a woman ever has to do.  Their fights, bickering, pinched butts, loving glances, sarcastic daggering glances, nicknames like “big butt” and the joking back and forth of their relationship balanced out the serious and not so serious times.
We have such a huge family and it has gone through some definite changes since daddy passed some for the good and not so good.  I think we all miss his presence and the taken for granted conversations the most.  The daily numerous phone calls to just check on us and funny voicemails we all knew what he’d say, “hey crystal, this is your daddy…” lol. I knew his voice like the back of my hand but every voice mail was the same it made me laugh then but cry now.  I wish I could hear that voice again.  I think we all miss sitting and talkin’ for a long time about nothing.  Anything would do from the latest neighbor gossip, snoody distant relatives, the weather from present to past, his family, our family including the crazy ones; nothing was off limits to a good conversation.  He’d tell you what he really thought then what he thought others would think would be politically correct so if someone asked you could just quote the watered down version. LOL!
I think we all really miss that the most and like I said time heals the grief but I doubt it will ever suppress the memories in our mind.
Happy Birthday spike!
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