I remember the first Father’s Day after Daddy died. “It was the worst of times,it was the best of times.”
Recalling all our days in the sun and rain, learning how to drive (Daddy put me in the truck and said to drive to the church and back). I did as he said and at 14 I was driving our truck. I was a sickly child and it seemed he took up more time with me. As time went by he seemed to have less time to take with just me but I knew he loved me.
When we found out my son was very ill, that same father came to help him be as well as any other child, taught him he was not different, and that he could do other things even though he could not play sports. In a sports family this meant a lot because he could not play with his cousins. He was the outlier. Daddy made sure he was never left out. He learned to shoot and fish. He and Daddy watched baseball for hours and both knew the stats exactly for their teams.
They played cards….Daddy taught him poker lol.
Daddy, every Sunday would go and get the Sunday paper for everyone…go in, sit a spell and then go to the next house. It seemed everyone loved my Daddy.
Yes, he was an alcoholic. Yes, Mother grumbled at him but they had the prettiest yard in the community working together to make our little frame house look like a fairy castle.
He would sit in the yellow rocker for hours in the evening talking about everything and nothing but you knew you were home when you heard his gravely voice telling his stories.
He loved to sit by the fire in winter, by the window in Mothers bedroom. He said as he neared the end, “I will miss the fire.”
Nothing was the same after Daddy died. Mother couldn’t keep the place up by herself. My brother did all he could but nothing looked like Daddy’s careful tending of the land around the house and barn.
Through the years I have watched the house deteriorating and the dreams disappear. I stand and cry then as I did the day he died. Nothing stays the same, nor would we want it too. If I could choose one day in my life to relive I would choose a crisp fall day to sit on the back steps and watch Daddy chop wood…just an ordinary day at home.