Ol’ Rusting Iron Man:
That’s one of the many nicknames for my Father. As I sat down to write this, I was wracking my brain trying to remember who christened him with that gem, whether himself (I’m leaning that way) or one of us kids (my two brothers or I), and that memory just wouldn’t reveal itself. It’s ok, though, because many others have.
My dad and I are very alike I many ways and, in others, not at all. It has made for some quite… energetic exchanges over the years, as well as some of my most cherished memories that never fail to make their way to the front of the reminiscing line. (Aaaand cue the lump in the throat.) We did and still do very much enjoy watching and discussing sports. Many times over the years, including very recently, we’ve called each other (we live in two different cities in Ohio) right after an especially thrilling contest has ended and “our” team has done well, whether the Bobcats (GO! OU!) winning big in coughAmericancough football or, as has been the case lately, the Cavs pulling off some amazing shots during the NBA finals.
We also loved building things together while I was growing up. Several pieces of the furniture still in use in his house are ones he made, and I have crystal clear memories of “helping” him make them: the cherry stained dual layer desk in the den, the set of bookshelves I still have, the desk chairs he made for my brothers and me, and a coffee table made from a heavy piece of reclaimed wood (ok, this one was before my brain cells realized they were supposed to be retaining memories, but whatev). I can remember that, even on rainy days, we’d be working on these projects, dad having moved the cars out of the garage, setting up the saw horses and other tools right in the middle of the cement floor, all of the lights on, garage door up, the rain our background noise. During the summer, it was the Cleveland Indians on the radio.
There are, of course, a lifetime of memories with my dad, from all of the family vacations (read: road trips), disagreements during meals (he did that thing where we talked about current events, as well as learning a new “50-cent” word to add to our arsenal – is it any wonder we’re all nerds??), to the laugh-filled returns to OU for homecoming, and many, many more. A lot of those memories involve other family members, too, especially my mom.
This is the second Father’s Day without his wife of 40+ years, without my mom, without the awesome Aunt and cousin and friend that she was. It’s difficult to wrap my brain around that it’s been that long. At the same time, it feels like it’s been centuries, almost like living another life. Course, we haven’t been, he hasn’t been, and that means living the one we have and continuing to move forward the best we can. I’d say we’re doing pretty well.
Today, my dad is across the pond, visiting friends in England and France, spending time with some of his favorite people in his favorite places. That’s exactly what mom wanted him to do, what she wanted all of us to do: keep doing the things we love, going to our favorite places, exploring and discovering new ones, continuing on with family traditions, creating new, making connections with new people, and reinvigorating and reconfirming those with longtime friends, and with family. (We’ll be doing that in just a couple weeks, too!) My mom dealt with her illness for more than 15 years. In that time, she and dad had many a conversation about what each of them would do if the other was the first to leave this earthly plane. He’s doing exactly what they talked about. He’s being my dad. Dad to my brothers. Dad to my sis-in-laws. He’s being an uncle, and a great-uncle. He’s being a grandpa, most definitely his favorite role at this point in his life (grandbaby number two is coming next month!), and a friend, and a resource within the organizations for which he volunteers.
Dads aren’t dads on just one day and deserve recognition often and with much celebration. So, dad, from across the way, cheers to you and your heart and your life that you shared with mom and continue to share with all of us.
To all of my friends for whom their dads are partying it up with my mom and everyone else who has already gone on to that next gig, I’m sending you forever hugs.
To my dad, I love you. Happy ORIM’s day. 😀
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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