I have been thinking of my dad quite often lately. I stopped yesterday to consider why that might be. It is probably because, since January, I have gone back to using my legal name only, the name that I got from him when I was born. I have been speaking and spelling the name repeatedly, as I meet new people and as I make changes in data systems. I never changed my name, but I did adopt a social alias when my third child was born. Now I am back to my original, legal name and thus it shall always be.
I thought of my dad on an occasion last week while I was in my car. I had a high fever, but I had to drive a child somewhere. As I came up to a stop light, the young man in front of me braked very suddenly to stop at the green light. I was able to stop also, without hitting him, which was quite a feat in that situation. My skills were there, even with my brain and body addled by fever, and I knew that my dad would be proud.
My dad taught me to drive, and I am currently teaching my second child to do so. His words come out of my mouth all the time. His teaching affected me, obviously, and now it is being passed down to my child. This one was three when he died.
I thought of him this week when I finally learned how to use a grill. My dad was into grilling. He was really good at it too. I have his special BBQ sauce recipe, and I now have a plan to use it. My neighbor came over to teach me, and I successfully grilled hamburgers. And then I felt about ten feet tall. Again, I know he would be proud.
When I was in Catholic high school, all seniors were required to go on an overnight retreat. It was a positive experience, mostly. I don't have a good memory in general, but I do have many memories of that weekend: The surprise of one of the adults when he heard that I didn't do drugs...being paired up with the "super hot" guy for an exercise in trust...sneaking into the boys' dorm...staying up all night listening to wild tales told by my more adventurous friends.
Our parents were required to write notes to us that were given to us at some point during the retreat. I have the note from my dad; it has stayed with me for 26 years. Every decade or so, it pops out, seemingly right when I need it. It popped out yesterday, while I was rearranging things in my closet. I have moved in the last ten years, and I have done major rearranging in my closet...but the note did not pop out until now...not until a time in my life when I have been thinking of my dad. Here it is:
This is kind of a difficult assignment for me. Not because I don't care for Sue, cause I really do, but because I am only comfortable putting technical things down on paper. Anyway, here goes.
Each of my children are special, each in their own way. You have always been a reserved, studious, but stylish person. Your reading habits remind me of my own, even to our mutual taste for science fiction. We do differ on music though.
Children are an endless string of surprises for parents, some good and some not so good. In your case, the good greatly outweighs the not so good.
I feel that it is mother's and my job to give you a foundation of example, experience, and knowledge to draw on in life. I hope that your future and life are happy, healthy, and successful enough to make the living worthwhile.
I love this note. It is very much my dad. When it comes out, it is always new to me, as if I have never read it before. I know the paper (small, yellow, graph) and I know the brevity, but the words are a surprise. I think that I'll be thinking of my dad for awhile.
make way for turkeys
1 minute ago