In September of 1995 my father died of cancer. It doesn’t really matter what kind, it’s usually all the same end result. I was taller than my dad and I am only 5’2″, so his nickname of “Shorty” was of course appropriate. My dad was bald, barrel chested, had thick arms and fingers and very clear blue eyes. My dad loved to tell and listen to stories and he had many friends whom he would spend time.
One time when we were little kids he challenged us to a foot race where he could beat us with only one foot on the ground at a time. We rose to the challenge and sure enough he did beat us, and of course with one foot on the ground, because that’s how we walk, or it would be called hopping. But kids are easily confused and then eventually we learn.
My dad lived for 78 years and I think of all the things that were invented in his lifetime. He was adventerous and he did find a way to play cribbage on the computer and I thought that was kinda cool.
My sweet husband’s dad died of cancer in 2004. It doesn’t really matter what kind, it’s usually all the same end result. Sweet husband’s dad was a watcher and quiet, but not in a creepy way. When he felt like contributing to a conversation he would. He had a great sense of humor and his eyes twinkled when he shared that great laugh. One of the hardest adjustments to Sweet Husbands father’s death was the fact his dad was no longer available to answer questions about home repair or any sort of advice for that matter. His dad was SOOOO proud of the things he did to our home and how Sweet husband’s prowess at handy man stuff rose to the surface.
Both of our fathers were cremated, and awaited their final place of rest. Sweet Husband’s mother did not know what her plans were for the ashes and approximately one year after his death, she decided to have his ashes buried in a double plot in a local cemetary. The date was planned, the service was set for late March of 2005, relatives and friends were notifed and we had a very nice and very emotional service. We opened up our home for a gathering with food and drinks afteward and it was a sweet loving day, still fresh with grief one year after his death.
Two months later we interned my dad at the Veterans Cemetary in Boise,10 years after his death. Why did we wait so long…this particular cemetary hadn’t been built yet and that’s what we had been waiting for. So all 6 of my sibling’s, our mother, our sweet spouse’s and various relatives gathered to pay tribute again to my dad. One would think that after 10 years it would have been easy. But no, both of my older brothers brought us all to tears as they talked about how much they missed dad, even after all these years. Afterwards there were about 30 of us who showed up at a restaurant where we laughed, ate, drank and visited for a few hours. (I have to say this particular restaurant was EXCELLENT in taking care of us. It was the middle of the afternoon, we were a huge surprise group and they weren’t busy and we weren’t demanding, however loud.)
It never occured to me that I would share the burial of my father with my sweet husband, afterall the death occured 10 years prior and I hadn’t even met my spouse yet. But by burying our father’s within two months of each other it created yet another bonding experience with my husband. Because it was so topical we would spend alot of our conversations discussing our dads and how they would have most likely been friends had they met. I’m am grateful for those months of having our dads in our forethoughts, it was a time of healing for both of us, that continues on today, even as I write.
I say all that to say this….Today is Father’s Day and I miss two Dad’s from my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better Father-in-Law and it surprises me even as I write this, that he is not with us anymore. He was generous, kind, loving and funny and very proud of his son.
I miss my dad, simply because I don’t have a dad anymore. There’s not enough space on the internet to tell you how. Happy Father’s Day!