So I know it has been a while since I’ve stopped by here, and I have good reason. I lost my dad on 11/13/12 and I haven’t known what to say.
This came as a huge shock to all of us; he was fine, then all of the sudden he was gone. I still reach for my phone to call or text him when I think of something he would laugh at or when I have some exciting news to share. I remember the last time I saw him, he was lying on the floor in the living room letting his sweet dog, Ginger, lick his face and I said, “I’ll see you when I see you.” I wish it were something more profound, but it was exactly ‘him.’
My dad was awesome. For those of you who knew him you understand that there is no better word to describe him than that.
He taught me so much about everything – he knew so much about everything. He was the best trivia teammate because he always knew the most obscure facts. He taught me how to drive a stick shift and laughed at me when, at a red light on an incline, I freaked out because we started rolling backward.
I learned how to be a good honest person from him. He always set a good example for all of us kids. He also knew how to make the best of life. He had fun wherever he went. I remember one night we went to the BBQ cookoff and we won an inflatable hammer. After a few adult beverages we thought it would be a good idea to start bopping people on the head with the hammer. Dad went up to a police officer and asked him if he minded if he hit him with the hammer (at least he asked!) and the officer said it was ok, just as long as it wasn’t a real hammer. He even posed for a picture. I love this picture, because you can see how hard my dad was laughing and it makes me happy.
In September of last year, we all drove up to Colorado for my younger sister’s wedding and to go to a festival in Telluride, CO called Blues and Brews. We had a wonderful time at the festival seeing some really great bands and drinking some even better beers. That’s another thing I got from him, an appreciation for well crafted beer. Anyway, the wedding rolled around and I had never seen him so proud and happy.
(photo credit to benengphotography.com)
There was always a funny story to be shared, and there were so many that I have heard from people over the last few weeks that are new to me. There was never a dull moment with Dad, that’s for sure.
He and my mom just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in September, and they went on the road to see their friend and favorite blues artist Mike Zito and his new band, the Royal Southern Brotherhood play a few shows… in Omaha and Kansas City. They had the kind of marriage that I can only hope to someday have anything close to. They took care of each other, fixed things when they got rough, and always remember that they love each other, no matter what.
I will miss Dad like you wouldn’t believe, hell, I already do. But I keep reminding myself that I had the best possible 28 years that I could have had, because he was here. I can count myself lucky to have had him for that long. People from his childhood halfway across the country have shared their memories of him and their stories that make me think, “I could totally see him doing that!!” Everyone who met him loved him, and those of us who could count him as a friend are among the luckiest in the world. I know he is so proud of all of us kids and of my mom, and I hope I can continue to be a person that he would be proud of.
Dad, I love you and I miss you so much. There will always be an empty spot in my heart but I can try to fill it with memories and pictures.
Cheers, save a beer for me on the other side. WALSTIB ❤