Today my husband and I were discussing how to repaint the kitchen cupboards. We had some questions that neither of us was really sure how to answer. Rob looked at me and said, “My first thought was we should call your Dad.”
We both smiled.
My Dad would indeed have known what to do.
But the problem is, he has been dead for over a year now.
This is not the first time I’ve missed him acutely during this process of transition. EVERY other time we’ve made a major move he has been RIGHT THERE with us. Painting, fixing, carrying, (cussing and grumbling), but loving every minute of being in the thick of it with us.
We miss you, Dad. ♥
This afternoon I had an email from an online photo company. “Plan ahead for Father’s Day!” it said. My stomach lurched. My inner voice whined “but my dad is gone….” Last year’s Father’s Day was not easy, but this one seems to be shaping up to be even more difficult.
I wanted to call Dad to talk about our new car when we got one last spring. I wanted to tell him about my husband’s wonderful new job and the incredible opportunities that will be open to our family when we move. I wanted to tell him about the big raise. I wanted to tell him about the amazing things my children are learning and doing.
I KNOW he would be proud of all these momentous things, but I know that in the end the thing that what mattered the most to him was just being with us.
Sharing our lives.
Seeing me and my children perform in concerts, plays, musicals and all manner of events.
Being able to help us when we needed extra hands and feet.
Eating with us and paying for ice cream sundaes afterward.
He would think nothing of driving several hundred miles (one way!) to see some event. He (and my mom) more than once drove to another state to see me sing with my college choir. They did it again and again when I was a high school music teacher to see my marching band or high school choral groups perform. He didn’t bat an eye. 5 hours, 10 hours, 20 hours. It didn’t matter how far if family was on the other end of the drive.
I don’t think he gave a hoot about music. I honestly think he could barely stand some of the things he attended, but he was there.
I look around our home and see so many things he made, refinished or painted.
He made a bookshelf to go in a certain place in my freshman dorm room at Ball State. I called and described the space saying how may cement blocks high and wide it could be. I am pretty sure I didn’t have a tape measure! He made it and brought it down as soon as it was finished. That bookshelf is in my 17 year old son’s room now.
He refinished the wooden table I found in my grandparent’s musty upstairs cram packed storage room. After talking with my mom and grandma, I figured out that table belonged to my Grandmother’s Grandmother! We still eat at that table every day.
He made us a wooden cupboard (with a bookshelf, storage and a pull out butcher block cutting board) for our microwave oven that would fit in the kitchen of our very first apartment when we got married over 28 years ago. We still use this every day, too.
He made our bed. He refinished the chairs that we found to go with the table. He built a pie safe/china cupboard to match the table and chairs because I was the only one who didn’t have an old one. He made end tables for me like Aunt Ruthie’s because I really liked hers. He made us lamps. He made a quilt rack. He made name plates, Christmas ornaments and scroll saw decorative plaques. He painted five rooms in the house where we live now AND the kitchen cupboards. He fixed broken drawers, broken doors, water damaged floors, ripped up carpet and laid down linoleum — he did it all.
When he and my mom came to visit us after our son was born, I had a new “old” piece of furniture at the ready for him to work on that week. I knew he would be chomping at the bit to be out and about and might possibly decide to go home if he didn’t feel “busy” enough. We still have that piece of furniture and use it every day.
He made a coat rack from a cherry tree that once stood by the lake. The lake I grew up on, with, in and around.
He made a cedar chest for me when I graduated from HS.
He made a cherry cradle for our baby. Both of our bundles of joy slept their first night at home in that cradle.
Handy guy, my dad.
I miss all that of course.
But most of all, I miss HIM.