I hope you are having a good time in Heaven, Dad.
I do think it was you who tickled my feet the other night when I was asleep – you always did like tickling my feet.
I miss those bike rides we used to go on when I was a kid; miles long rides out to the lake or wherever, starting when I was so small that I sat in that seat mounted on the back of your bike. Then later when I had my own 10-speed, the one you bought from the Police auction. I remember the day you took the training wheels off my bike at the park, then let go of the back when I wasn’t paying attention. I rode on my own until I realized you weren’t back there anymore, and then crashed into that parked car. Oops. Even as an adult, we sometimes went for a bike ride at Grandma’s house, even though there wasn’t much to bike to in the middle of small town Michigan.
I miss sitting at the dinner table and talking about investments, current events, or what was going on at work. I’m grateful that I lived close enough that dinners were possible on a random Tuesday night. I miss teasing you about the way you said, “onion,” or the fact that you liked your steak super-dead…
I was thinking the other day about that summer that we laid all those bricks for your patio. That was a lot of work, but the dinners afterwards were good, and I always enjoyed talking with you.
I have always been grateful that you taught me to be really good with money. I hope I get to retire early like you did; that’s my plan anyway. Work only as long as I have to, then take off and see more of the world. I always loved hearing about the trips you took with my mom, and the emails you would send to the family about your adventures.
I wish you would have taught me more about fixing stuff around the house. I miss those days when you would come over to help me prune my fruit trees; I’ve never been tall enough to reach those higher branches very well.
I miss watching you sit with your sisters on trips to Michigan, talking about growing up on the farm. I hate that I will never again see you laugh so hard that you cry – I always loved that. No one could make you laugh like your sisters could. I loved seeing you happy.
I’m still kind of mad at you for leaving us with no warning, Dad. I’m so grateful that you didn’t suffer from some long illness, but I’m still so sad that we never had a chance to say goodbye. I saw you at least every few weeks, but I still feel like I should have been around more. I guess that’s what happens after someone is gone – we second guess everything we did or didn’t do. That part sucks. It is still difficult to comprehend that I’ll never get to talk to you again, or help with a project, or just sit and watch the news with you. I’ll never get to sit around the fire pit and have smores with you again, or sit next to you on a plane on a family trip to Michigan.
I love you and miss you something fierce, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.