...since my Dad's soul took leave of this Earth that early Tuesday afternoon. It's a rare day that goes by that I don't think of him for some reason. I love and miss him dearly.

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Here's a long piece I wrote up on Facebook seven years ago on the sixth anniversary...

"I've been thinking a lot about what to write about him today. Do I write about how he died? Do I write about how much I still miss him? Do I write about his life? Do I write about it all? I need to write something...

He was a quiet man with a dry, sarcastic wit that often exceeded his high school education. I referred to him in later years as a big, grumpy teddy bear. He liked to hunt deer and was a member of the NRA. He loved to argue politics. He was a rabid Packers fan. He was a hard worker; when I was a toddler he worked two, sometimes three jobs to support us so Mom could stay at home and take care of my brother and I. He was devoted to his granddaughter. His favourite foods were blood rare steak, peanut butter, and wild green onions (separately, not together.;)) Much to my mother's chagrin at times, his favourite beverage was beer. His favourite music was both Country AND Western, with bits of bluegrass, folk, and classical music mixed in. He loved a good polka, too.:) He read the entire newspaper almost every day.

He was finally working at a job he really loved when he died. He worked at a nursery, sitting on a tractor all day cultivating between the rows of the planting yards and mowing the nursery's vast lawns. My brother hooked him up with the gig, and they worked together from time to time. It's where he died, of a sudden cardiac event, not totally unexpected, but a shock nonetheless. I'm glad it was quick, and at a place he wanted to be.

I've always been a Daddy's girl. Our relationship could be rocky, but I still could safely say that I had him wrapped around my little finger. On my wedding day, we danced to "Daddy's Little Girl" and he sang to me while he danced. When the song was over, he whispered in my ear "I meant every word." (Mom later told me he sung that song to me a lot when I was a wee sprite, but, sadly, I don't remember it.) Though my marriage eventually failed spectacularly, I will always cherish that moment.

The grief of his death diminishes as the years pass, which is a good thing. He wouldn't want any of us to grieve his loss for so long. But I still miss him, especially on days like today. The almost healed scab of grief lifts a little on days like today...

Despite his faults, he was a good man. He wasn't always the best father and husband, but I think, generally speaking, he tried to do his best by us. Though I didn't always feel it and I daresay I never expressed it, I was proud that he was my Dad. I still am.

Later on I'll hoist a beer or two in his memory. He always scoffed at my snobbiness when it came to beer, and I'm sure he'll be scoffing as he watches over me tonight as I toast his memory.;)

I love you very much, Dad. I wish you peace and happiness where ever it is you're hanging out these days, and I hope you're with those you loved on this Earth who passed before you and have passed since you left us."

Sigh. Where did those thirteen years go off to? :/
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