The temperature today was 93, and currently I am sitting in my kitchen listening to the thunder and watching the lightning or is that my crazy dog in his cage? Probably both. It’s a big kitchen in an old house, built sometime in the late 1800’s. It has a warmth, charm and is full of quirks. Like Dad.
Two years ago the temperature was more Indian summer high of 77 low in the 50’s perfect football weather. The day we laid Dad to rest in the National Cemetery located on the Rock Island Arsenal. It was a fitting tribute to a Veteran complete with weapons being fired, presentation of the flag followed by silent farewell with taps, I still have the shell casings.
Dad got sick about 5 months prior to his final exit. I enjoyed our talks over those months, and treasure every single one. We didn’t change the world in those talks, we just chatted, as if we were on a front porch. Every visit ended with “I love you” there was never a shortage of that with Dad. And he meant it.
I feel him all around the Quad City Area. At Bowlesburg Elementary during a Dad’s club performance, something with a hula skirt and a coconut bra as I recall, at the bend of the road searching for glass pop bottles on a Sunday afternoon, a big bowl of pop corn on Sunday evening with Walt Disney, a baseball game at John O’Donnell, hating but loving the Cubs, helping the Hawkeyes win, every HyVee and Whitey’s I drive past. Dad is there.
One evening not long ago, I was traveling to a get together with my guy, as I followed him down River Drive I had a feeling wash over me. He continued on and stopped on Holmes Street right in front of Dad’s house. Ironic. Fate, Cosmos, big tumblers of life. Paths are always crossing. Our hosts told me they knew my dad and that he was a character. Yes he was.
Today yet another strange occurrence, I was watching a training film on the National Cemeteries and I became filled with emotion. Sitting in a room with 17 other new employees, tears welling up in the dark classroom, and then my tablemate said September 20, 2017 and I knew why I was so moved. It was Dad’s goodbye day.
His long goodbye started in the hospital where I now work and where I was watching the training film. Ironic.
Love you Dad.
Until Next Time,