Time to wish our Dad's a Happy Father's Day. I had the time today to write so thought I would tell you a bit about my Dad.
He was an outdoor guy, hunted, fished, farmed, logged, worked in a ship yard, rode dirt bikes, road bikes, camped and loved his family. He could fix anything and make anything. He built tractors, etc.
He wasn't a huggy type of guy because he wasn't raised that way. He never told me he loved me but I never doubted it for one minute.
I was the oldest child and worshipped him. I remember him playing cowboys and indians with me and my brother when we were little.
He smoked from the time he was 15. It was a curse he fought his whole life. And in the end, partially why he died. He did quit toward the end but then took up cigars!
I always wanted my Dad to be proud of me and I worked at it. My husband and I, Dad, my brother, our sons, and a bunch of different friends would go dirt biking at Gold Bar, WA a lot on Sundays. I remember when my Mom told me that Dad said I was a really good dirt biker! I think that was one of the proudest moments of my life. Isn't that silly, but it was?
Towards the end of Dad's life he had a lot of health problems. He had open heart surgery and while he was in the hospital with that, they had to do an emergency prostate surgery. A few years after that he had a spot on his lungs which they watched but when it started to get bigger they operated on him to remove it. They thought they got it all, but Dad just couldn't stand not feeling well and never got back to normal. One morning in February, 1999 our phone rang around 5:00 or so in the morning. My husband always answers the phone if it rings in the night or early morning because it is usually something not good. I could tell by the way he talked something was bad and I figured it was Dad. It was the Marysville police saying my Dad had committed suicide. My poor Mom, I have tears in my eyes now, remembering it. She had loved my Dad since she was in high school and they had been married 62 years. We were half way to Marysville when my husband told me that Dad wasn't dead but wasn't expected to make it. He had shot himself with 2 guns and one had misfired. We went to Mom's to pick her up and she was very calm, but totally rattled. She was trying to find Dad's paperwork regarding end of life and had papers all over the floor. We got her to the hospital and waited and waited. A surgeon came in and said they would try to operate and save him, but he would be blind, etc. My Mom and I both jumped up and told him "No!", my Dad would never have done what he did if he had wanted to live. With 2 guns! My God, he wanted to make sure he didn't make it!
Anyway, they did what they could to make him comfortable and we kept going in to see him. We knew it wasn't going to be long because his oxygen level kept going down. Close to the end and the last time I went in, I kissed him, told him I loved him, I understood why he did it and forgave him. It wasn't long after that he got what he wanted. His pain had ended. And ours began.
Mom did really well for 3 years. She kept their place up and had a big lawn to mow, plus her garden, sewing and crafts. I remember her telling me one day she was mowing, and she got really mad at Dad. She looked up at the sky and yelled, "Dammit, you are supposed to be here doing this!" That was the anger part of grief we go through when we lose someone.
I still miss my Dad. I know my husband misses him. They were really close. When we were dating sometimes we never got out on the date because he and Dad would sit and talk! They went on hunting trips together for years.
Happy Fathers Day, Dad. I love you and miss you. Take care of Mom. I know you are together.