Dad married Mom when I was in 5th grade. I was seriously skeptical of this union. I was tired of new men. I was tired of dads. I was not even interested in having one more. I was doing just fine raising my sister while mum worked. Shoot, I was in 3rd or 4th grade and babysitting at night for friends for cash! The night my sister asked when we should start calling this man dad, I kicked her under the dinner table. I didn’t need another dad. I was gloriously wrong. Guys who marry into readymade families of girls are a special kind of hero. I had no use for this man and watched him every day for a stumble. He didn’t. In fact, as the years went on, my sister and I decided if they divorced, we’d go with dad!
This dad adopted us when I was in Jr Hi. He took the ‘free state money’ us Alaskans got and invested it. Because of this, I don’t have a college debt. Dad took care of it. Dad bored me with an in depth study of how a transmission works in a stick shift before teaching me to drive. He then smoked incessantly when I was first behind the wheel (note: when he told me to turn right and I didn’t want to because all I saw was a bush, and then when I finally turned right and stopped in the bush, only to discover there was a road just to the left of the bush, it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t know the road was there!). Dad didn’t mind all those boys who brought me home and dated me from age 16 on. He didn’t seem to mind they were in my basement room with me, either..But, I digress!
Dad was there when I ended up with Diabetes after graduation from HS. Dad’s insurance covered the disease I inherited from my biological father and he let me go off to college where I wanted (he wanted me in AK, I wanted to leave!). Dad survived both his daughters getting pregnant out of wedlock at the same time. Then, while I was getting married, he helped my sister with the birth of his granddaughter. Dad went thru more than colon cancer with mum and her hobbies and more college education and helped control her clutter bug. My timeline is hazy, but I think mum had breast radiation while dad was alive. I believe they were both removed the year he died.
I was fortunate to be home when my dad died. Cigarettes were the main reason he died so young (just after he turned 65), I do NOT like those things one bit. Leaving Alaska after was the hardest thing in the world. I knew if I ever came back, Dad wouldn’t be here. But, he is. Oddly, my youngest son reminds me a great deal of my dad in quite a few mannerisms, there is a memorial bench in a park with dad’s name on it, and my family has two of dad’s hobbies in their grasp. Dad restored juke boxes and we ended up with four. Dad also purchased an 57 Mercury in 1997, which The Craftsman inherited and enjoys greatly. (The Craftsman was a Ford technician for a number of years)
My Dad taught me patience, a little about finances (he’d be so proud of me today!!!), and whole lot more. He was always the one who asked if mum had sent me packages for different holidays. He was the one who bought me an answering machine because no one was ever home when he called. Dad made me music cassettes and videos on any number of things and movies.
I often wonder what he thinks right now. Gods, I wish I could ask him! Dump all this crap in his lap and let him fix things like he did up until his last months. I miss my Dad so much. I visit his memorial bench often, I find sitting on his bench is a way I can get close to him. But, then, I realise he isn’t here and I need to go on. Because he would.