...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? :/
This Something Positive strip is from Father's Day a handful of years ago--I wish I would've documented exactly when, dammit. Anyway, it's about dads who dote on their adult daughters. I had one of those dads, a curmudgeonly sort of doting, but doting none-the-less. I miss that so much...

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I'll never stop wishing that there were more photos of Dad and me with me as a "grown up". This is one of the few I have, and the only one I have scanned to my PC right now. Regardless of how things ended up with that marriage, that particular day in my life will always remain a Special Day because my Daddy helped Make It So. He talked softly to me as we walked down that long church sanctuary aisle, him calming my rattled bride-to-be nerves. Later, we danced our Daddy/Daughter dance to "Daddy's Little Girl", him singing every word softly and gruffly into my ear. After the song was done, he told me "And I meant every word of it, honey." To this day I can't listen to that song without shedding tears...of happiness, love, and sadness that he's no longer with us...

Dad walking me down the aisle, first marriage, 10 September 1994

Happy Father's Day in Heaven, Dad. I love you and miss you dearly.

I'm still proud to call myself your little girl...
( May. 27th, 2015 10:20 am)
Twelve years ago, right around this time, my father collapsed at work while waiting for his mower's blades to get sharpened so he could go back to work on his mower at the nursery where he worked part time in his retirement years. Despite heroic efforts to revive him by his coworkers (including my brother, who was one of his supervisors at the nursery), EMS, and the ER department, we officially lost him around noon that day...

Dad had many flaws. He was a total curmudgeon, especially in his final years when his coronary disease was worsening and he was unable to do as much as he wanted to do, but he was really A Good Man who always meant well. I loved him with all my heart, as all Daddy's Girls do. Yes, I was a Daddy's Girl; generally speaking, I had that man wrapped around my little finger. ;) Did I take advantage of that? You bet your sweet bippy I sure did! ;) I learned to not, though, at least not so much or as often, as I got older...

Gods, do I miss that man...The hole in my heart remains enormous for missing him...

Dad playing the chef during deer hunting season sometime in the 80s.

Hope you've been resting well, where ever it is your soul's been hanging out Out There since you left us. Wish you'd visit me sometimes like Mom does, but I understand if that's not your style.

I love you and miss you very, very much, Dad...
Despite them both being gone now for several years, I still celebrate my parents' birthdays. Today would have been my Dad's 76th birthday had he lived. So, here are some pics for your enjoyment...

Dad, sometime during the early to mid 80s at deer camp, being a goof while cooking breakfast for the crew...
Dad playing the chef during deer hunting season sometime in the 80s.

It's a little weird to be posting a pic from my "starter wedding", but it's really one of the only pictures I have of me and my Dad together in my adult years...circa September '94...
Dad walking me down the aisle, first marriage, 10 September 1994

One of the last pictures of Mom and Dad together, taken in March of 2003 while they "snowbirded" in AZ.
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I was totally a Daddy's girl. While not an all the time sort of thing, I tended to have that man wrapped around my little finger for most of my life. We were pretty good buds most of the time, all things considered. I miss him every single damned day, even almost 12 years since his passing from this Earth. He was One of the Good Ones. Wish I would've told him that more often...

Happy Birthday in Heaven. Or wherever it is your soul's hanging around out in The Great Beyond right now. Have a couple of Cold Ones to celebrate your Natal Day, and be sure to detail whatever motor vehicle you're currently driving around in Out There, too--I know how much you loved doing that Down Here...

Sigh...I wish he was here, dammit... :/
My Dad was a HUGE country/western fan, so I grew up largely listening to what he listened to on the radio until I discovered the world of rock 'n roll when I went into grade school and asked for my own radio so I could listen to "my" music. I professed to hate country music, especially the twangy stuff that was so popular in the '70s and early '80s when I was growing up, but I did love some of it. One of the soft spots I always had was for dad's cowboy music collection and for Glen Campbell for some odd reason.

Found out a few years ago that Mr. Campbell had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that made me terribly sad. He had it in him to release a swansong of sorts last year, which I've posted below. It brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. Poor fella. He was a pompous ass and quite the cad back in the day, but no one deserves the fate that befell him.

I hear there's a documentary about Glen's life coming out. Just might have to catch it. Sorry I missed Tim McGraw's version of this song on the Oscars tonight...

( Nov. 11th, 2014 10:27 am)
On Veteran's Day I always try to remember to honor my Dad for his service. Though he didn't serve anywhere near the area, he was a drafted Vietnam era Army veteran. He was drafted in December of 1962 and served active duty until 1964 or 1965. He remained as a reservist until 1968.

He grumbled a lot about his Army years, mainly because of his assigned work specialty--Anti-Artillery. He grumbled because it was not a work skill that was terribly transferable to the "real world." His service took him around the US and to Germany, where he was stationed when JFK was assassinated. As he told it, it was a very scary time for awhile afterwards--all units put on high alert, caught largely with their pants down, sent out to patrol key areas of the base and countryside with little to no supplies or ammo--a bit more chaotic than for anyone involved's comfort! It took a couple of days, but they got everything they needed, and by that point were told to stand down. It was one of the exciting stories of my childhood!

Here's Dad's formal Army picture. I love that he's smiling brightly rather than the usual sullen and tough look a lot of guys opt for for their pictures. I'm proud of my Dad's service, and I love and miss him very much...

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