This post is going to be a little different than ones I’ve previously posted. Tonight I will dedicate my thankful list to my Dad. I will share all my thankful moments of my time with him. Also all the things I’m thankful that he taught me as part of Lizzi and friends TTOT linkup.
I’ve got through this whole day without dissolving into tears. I kept myself busy knowing if I didn’t I would find myself wrapped up in sadness. Now that I’m not busy the waves of grief come back to me. 7 years ago today I lost my one and only Dad to cancer. I think of all my memories of us laughing, talking, and yes even fighting. No one could make me so mad and proud all at once. Then he’d fire off a string of curses and I would break into a fit of giggles! We both knew we were stubborn as mules and not willing to give in. I couldn’t be any prouder to be his daughter.
I’m so thankful that he taught me how to be strong. He came from a family of hard working farmers that he was the oldest of seven children. He always knew how to command attention and get results. He had a strength that was admirable and exhausting at times. I would beg him to just stop working and put his feet up and rest.
I’m thankful that he taught me perseverance. He never left any job unfinished and he wouldn’t tolerate laziness either. He would always say I know how to make you work hard is to get you mad. It’s true I do have a hair trigger temper and he would chuckle to himself when I’d be stomping around on my workboots doing my chores and swearing and blistering his ears with my language.
I’m thankful he taught me to trust and to have faith in myself. I had moments when I felt weak or not heard so I raised my voice and got attention negatively. He told me I had trust that what I had to say was important and to have faith that I would be heard and appreciated for being myself. Then pretending to be someone else to please family, friends, or a boyfriend.
I’m thankful he taught me to laugh at myself and not take life so seriously. I would have my face in a book or watching movies and I wouldn’t talk to anyone and I’d pretend I was playing that part of the character. He would laugh and mess up my hair and say “go play you’re too serious.” If I made a mistake he would say just laugh it off because everyone makes them.
I’m thankful he taught me kindness and forgiveness. He was notorious for feeding the hungry, taking in stray animals, and giving people work who were down on their luck. He let people stay with our family and no one would go without. He taught me that forgiveness was the only way to move on with our lives instead of being stuck in mad.
I’m thankful that he was so giving of his time and attention to me. I always teased him about being a workaholic but my best times with him was working on his logging truck while he taught me how to work the tire gun or grease the axles. I would skip school sometimes and go to work with him and we’d listen to all the country greats of Tom T. Hall, Charlie Pride, and all the trucker tunes. He would teach me all the names of the trees and plants that were deciduous to our area. Then we’d have our lunch and he’d sip his coffee while I had my hot chocolate.
I’m thankful he taught me how to be self sufficient. I know how to change a tire, break pads, check my oil, and maintain my vehicle. I had plenty of old Junkers to practice on and he was always so patient with me and we’d work together side by side feeling happy.
I’m thankful that I could tease him out of a bad mood. He could roar like the thunder and get tripped up on his cursing jags. They could be a five minute tirade and I would just hold in my reaction until I couldn’t any longer and I’d burst out hysterical laughter.
I’m thankful he was there when I needed him. All I had to do was ask or call him and there he’d appear. From watching my baseball games, driving me to and from hockey games so I could be with my friends, and supporting me while I was in a court of law.
I’m so thankful that I never had to guess how much he loved me it showed in his actions. I still remember the last words he spoke as he saw all six of his children keeping vigil over him in the hospice room. “All my children are here and they all have good lives and make me proud.” I would do anything to hear those words again to lift up my heart when it feels broken. I miss our conversations, his jokes, the belly laughs we had, and his whistling through his teeth.
I recently had a dream about him and he was talking and laughing while I was having a serious discussion that sugar fed cancer cells and he should cut it out of his diet, all he wanted was a beer. I explained that it contained yeast and sugar through fermentation. He replied “well I can have a beer I’m $@@&@ dying anyway!” That was my Dad an honest, straight shooter and one of a kind. He’s left behind many heavy hearts and also a lot of unforgettable moments in time. Love you Daddy, in my heart you’ll always be. ❤️