Daddy. It has been nine years, nine years since that 4:00 AM call, and I look at my home (he loved houses) and think…daddy. Every day for about a year after the massive stroke shut him down, I would drive home from work bawling like a baby; one year! He was such a monumental figure within our family, as fathers should be. How can one man be so fallible, yet, influential, governing, respected, grand, and my daddy? I still cry just thinking about him and how I wish he could see my kids again, or my new basement (he loved houses), or even me.
Daddy. He loved to fish – I hated it. However, when I was young, I would ask to go deep-sea fishing with him even though I knew I would get so sick that my bait would never hit the water. I can remember lying in the cabin squinting out of my thin eyes as my dad clean up my “love” from the cabin floor. I must have spoiled his fishing trip, yet he never said a word about that - ever (I still can’t eat Chuckles to this day). I wasn’t sure he even knew why I wanted to go fishing with him. However, when I was near 30 years old, I heard him relate to a friend how I hated deep-sea fishing, and I would go to be with him. He knew (I get seasick to this day)!
Daddy. He grew up in a time when people hated him merely because of his skin color. He could not care less what other’s thought about him; he was going to be nice, and considerate, and friendly to you in spite of you. He was kind, selfless, and welcoming because that’s who he was. Moreover, he was going to be what he wanted to be. He became what he wanted to become - a veterinarian.
Daddy. I got beatings (not the abusive kind). I was punished. I wasn’t free. I was fearful at times (but in a right way). I was loved. I loved him. I knew I was loved even though he never once said it (he would shake my hand with the best of them). In 31 years, he never hugged me. I loved him. Don’t miss the point, I embrace and kiss my kids, however too much is made of this tangible form of validation as the only method of love. You know love when you receive it, and there is no doubt in your mind. It is unquestionable and can manifest itself in many, other ways…as it did with daddy…and when you miss that love, you understand, and you may cry, and you may call for daddy.