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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fathers Day

This is a day that I usually have a hard time dealing with. Of the two most influential fathers in my life, one is living, the other is not.

Fathers day is really hard for me because every year on fathers day, I remember Dad. I used to play pranks on my dad. For the most part - he took them all in stride. One year I arranged a treasure hunt for him to find his fathers day gift. I don't remember what I got him, but I remember that hunt. He would always say to me "how do you like them apples". It was terrible grammar, but that was part of the joke. When I was about 6, ,he picked a very long and very sharp pencil lead that I had accidentally poked myself with out of my butt cheek. He taught me the "you start" form of knock knock joke. Dad taught me to mow the lawn on the riding lawn mower at age 8 or 9. He made me a dozen of his famous muffins after the birth of middlechild, ,and brought them to me in the hospital. (I told him I would share, but ate every single one myself) Dad wore the goofy reindeer socks to church every year that I bought him as a joke and much to my embarassment at the time, would show them off! When I totalled his car when they left me home alone while He and mom took a vacation, he didn't kill me. He didn't even yell. The year before the cancer, he sliced his thumb pretty badly while cutting a bagel. For christmas that year, I bought him a box of bandaids and a bagel slicer. Dad thought that was the funniest thing.

When dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was in denial. My dad? No way, my dad is strong and healthy. My dad is always there. Besides, I was 20, and my brothers were 16 and 12, he wasn't done being a dad yet. However, his cancer progressed so rapidly that the last few visits with him are all like slide-show images in my head. He was eating dinner, telling us about the latest test he had to take, describing what an MRI was like to have. He was in the hospital, all taped up to IV tubes and oxygen, kind of wheezing along and definitely not all there due to the morphine drip. He was home again after his colostomy - too skinny to really be my father. He was dressed in his suit that was too big for him at the visitation, wearing the tie-tack that I made him (thank you so much mom), looking very serene and peaceful, but definitely not like my father.

The hardest thing about remembering dad is the last fathers day I ever spent with him. I had given him his last fathers day gift in the hospital. It was a pocketknife that said #1 Grandpa. He was so ill that he could pretty much only smile and nod and try to offer a hug. It was given back to me later - after - still in it's original packaging. Dad never got to use it.

Every year on this day, I get horribly depressed if I think about my father too long. I think about all the couldn't, didn't, should've, might've, would'ves and wish he was back. I do have to say though, ,that my father gave me one of the best things he could. He gave me a gift that led me to a wonderful career and the second father in my life. Dad's gift was the love of computers.

Dad was a computer nerd. He was a self-taught programmer, and I had access to a computer at a very early age. I learned how to program in basic at the age of 7 with his coaching, and while I didn't learn much, I made neat flashy signs on the computer. Our first computer had a TV screen, a Computer/TV switch, a tape player (for loading programs) and a weird looking little keyboard. From that age forward, as we upgraded our computers, Dad encouraged my computer interests and eventually in 1988 or 1989 he joined some on-line BBS's. Once I saw somethign new happening on the computer, I convinced him to show me how to do it too.

It was on one of those BBS's that I "met" DH. He was in a neighboring town and we would often play games against eachother on-line. We would also "e-mail" eachother. I don't know if you can realize just how nerdy that was back then because this was before the internet was really the internet, but it was right up my alley - I had been doing the computer thing for years, this was as natural as breathing. Then one day, DH asked me out and the rest - you might say, is history.

At my wedding, Dad placed my hand firmly in DH's hand and announced that he was giving me to DH. It was part of the traditional wedding service and I hardly remember the words, but I remember Dad's smile.

DH has been a wonderful father and partner and while we have had our - shall we say - mild disagreements, I couldn't ask for a better husband. He makes me laugh, he hugs me when I cry, he deals with my idisyncracies, and he listens to me (or looks like he is) when I need to ramble on and on. He understands that beads and purses are simply needs in my life and when I want to buy a new one, he doesn't question me about the 30 or so purses still hanging in the closet. He will find me the neat seashells on the beach, and he will walk to McDonalds in a snowstorm when I am very depressed so he can buy me a cheeseburger and bring it home so we can pretend that we have money to actually afford it. He will stay up at night with a sick kid so I can get some rest and go to work in the morning. DH encourages me and tells me that I'm doing a good job, even when I'm obviously not, and he will often come up and give me a little back rub as I sit at this computer. When I fall asleep at night reading a book, DH takes off my glasses and turns off the light.

So, from one father, to another, my life has moved me.

Here's to a happy Father's day, both past and present. Dad and DH, ,I love you both more that either of you will ever know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've been blessed with two wonderful men in your life, Karry. What a wonderful tribute to them. Cate

6/19/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger john said...

that was such a beautiful post karry. thanks for sharing it with us.

6/20/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made Me cry... brought back lots of memories. Love, Mom

6/20/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made me cry too. I remember your Dad like it was yesterday. What a wonderful post.


6/20/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Karry said...

I cried while writing it - I had to get it out - for years after Dad passed I wanted to write about it - just could never get it to come out properly. This year, it did. Probably one of the hardest things I'll ever write about.

6/21/2005 09:41:00 AM  

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