“I’m always going to love my father.”

This is my annual Father’s Day post. Many of you read it every year. It is about my amazing father, my funny and loving father. It brings back a rush of memories every time I read it. It makes me smile and long for my father. He was one of a kind in the best of all possible ways. This morning, as soon as I woke up, I wished him a Happy Father’s Day.

In my front garden are a couple of ground cover plants. They have been there for years. My father planted them for me. One weekend he and my mother came down to visit. My dad brought his lawn mower, a hand mower, garden tools and those few plants. While my mother and I shopped, my dad mowed the lawn in the front and the back. Both yards were fields no longer. He weeded the garden. I could see the flowers. The garden was lovely. I get to remember that weekend every time I go out the front gate and see my father’s plants. They touch my heart.

I have so many memories of growing up, of family trips and my dad trying to whack at us from the front seat and never succeeding, of playing whist in the kitchen, with the teams being my mom and me against my dad and brother, of Sunday rides, of going to the drive-in and the beach and of being loved by my dad. Memories of my dad are with me always, but today my memories are all of my dad, and my heart is filled to the brim with missing him. When I close my eyes, I see him so clearly.

On a warm day he’d be sitting on the front steps with his coffee cup beside him while reading the paper. He’d have on a white t-shirt and maybe his blue shorts. He’d wave at the neighbors going by in their cars. They all knew him and would honk back. He loved being retired, and we were glad he had a few years of just enjoying life.

He was the funniest guy, mostly on purpose but lots of times by happenstance. We used to have Dad stories, all those times when we roared and he had no idea why. He used to laugh along with us and ask, “What did I say? What did I say?” We were usually laughing too hard to tell him. He was a good sport about it.

I know you’ve heard this before, but it is one of my favorite Dad stories. He, my mom and I were in Portugal. I was driving. My dad was beside me. On the road, we had passed many piggyback tandem trucks, all hauling several truck loads behind them. On the back of the last truck was always the sign Vehiculo Longo. We came out of a gas station behind one of those. My father nonchalantly noted, “That guy Longo owns a lot of trucks.” I was laughing so hard I could barely drive and my mother, in the back seat, was doubled over in laughter.

My father wasn’t at all handy around the house. Putting up outside lights once, he gave himself a shock which knocked him off his step-ladder. He once sawed himself out of a tree by sitting on the wrong end of the limb. The bookcase he built in the cellar had two shelves, one on the floor and the other too high to use. He said it was lack of wood. When painting the house once, the ladder started to slide, but he stayed on his rung anyway with brush in hand. The stroke of the paint on the house followed the path of his fall. Lots of times he set his shoe or pant leg on fire when he was barbecuing. He was a big believer in lots of charcoal lighter fluid.

My father loved games, mostly cards. We played cribbage all the time, and I loved making fun of his loses, especially if I skunked him. When he won, it was superb playing. When I won, it was luck. I remember so many nights of all of us, including aunts and uncles, crowding around the kitchen table playing cards, especially hi-lo jack. He loved to win and we loved lording it over him when he lost.

My father always said he never snacked, and my mother would roll her eyes. He kept chocolate under the couch, hidden from everyone else, but, we, everyone else knew. He loved Pilot Crackers covered with butter. Hydrox was his preferred cookie. His vanilla ice cream was always doused with Hershey’s syrup. That man did love his chocolate.

My father was a most successful businessman. He was hired to turn a company around and he did. He was personable and funny and remembered everyone’s names. Nobody turned him down.

My father always went out Sunday mornings for the paper and for donuts. He never remembered what kind of donut I like. His favorite was plain. He’d make Sunday breakfast when I visited: bacon, eggs and toast. I can still see him standing over the stove with a dish towel over his shoulders. He always put me in charge of the toast.

If I ever needed anything, I knew I could call my father. He was generous. When we went out to eat, he always wanted to pay and was indignant when we one upped him by setting it up ahead of time that one of us paid. One Christmas he gave us all $500.00, not as a gift but to buy gifts.

My father left us when he was far too young. It was sudden. He had a heart attack. I had spoken with him just the day before. It was pouring that day, and I told him how my dog Shauna was soaked. He loved that dog and told me to wipe his baby off. I still remember that whole conversation. I still miss my father every day.

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17 Comments on ““I’m always going to love my father.””

  1. Erin Apostolos Says:

    Kat, that photo is so him! He was very much loved by his nieces and nephews, too. Especially me. He always made me feel at home. He was the best and terribly missed. Thanks for posting this. I never get tired of reading it.

    Love,
    Erin

    • katry Says:

      Erin,
      I forget where we were when I took that picture. It was somewhere in Europe. He loved to pose!!

      I miss him all the time.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I do like these stories 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I love to tell those stories. He was a funny guy!

      Enjoy your Sunday!

  3. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    You have so many great memories of your dad. Unfortunately, I have much fewer good ones of mine. 🙁 I try to be a better father to my kids but it’s hard.

    Typical June weather, hot, humid, partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms.

    • Hedley Says:

      Suck Dads Suck Bob, I’m sorry that it happened to you

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I loved spending time with my parents. My father was fun to be with on all our trips. We played cribbage all over. He was so generous to all of us. I still miss him.

      Today is chilly and cloudy with a strong wind adding to the chill.

  4. Hedley Says:

    I look at my lot and recognize the privilege of being a Padre, as my daughter calls me. He is over and we are spending time talking about his first trip to London. Right now he is most excited about going to Spurs. There is a matrix on the kitchen table and he is studying it. You can see The Prince on Facebook Kat, he is not unsmall !

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I can’t believe how old The Prince looks now. He is quite handsome. I totally understand his excitement!!!

      This morning my sister and I were discussing her grandson Ryder. She can’t believe he is going to be 13 next month. He is going to California and even flying by himself, a birthday ticket from his other grandparents.

  5. Birgit Says:

    Busy music weekend, the annual Chorus Day on Saturday with about 160 choirs on many stages, we sang 4 times, plus free folk music on both days in the same town. Both events were open air and the weather was nearly perfect. I have to catch up on some sleep now.

    And no, I don’t miss my father. Lucky you!

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      What a wonderful weekend! I always wish I could hold a tune, but alas, I cannot. I do appreciate music and sing along when I am alone.

      I am lucky in that I had the parents I did!

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I read this every year and every year I chuckle. Thank you for sharing these stories.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I even shared some of these at my dad’s funeral. They got laughter then too. One of my uncles came to me after and said he loved that he got a chance to laugh as he had cried.


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