Today would’ve been my dad’s 92nd birthday, if he were still alive. Though we lost him 24 years ago, I still miss him terribly. He had a way about him that made you want to be him. Maybe because he really didn’t care what other people thought of him, though he’d bend over backwards to help you out if you were in need or trouble. Or his yuk yuk laugh. Or that he always wore blue jeans – long before it was cool.
He loved boats – I think because secretly he had a wanderer’s heart and always wanted to travel the world. In fact, the last day of his life, he had gone to the harbor to watch the boats with his wife. Later that day, he passed in his sleep. But I’m glad that it was in a safe and loving place.
Happy Birthday, Dad. I hope there are boats, Budweiser, and country music, wherever you are.
I lost my dad over twenty years ago, but it still feels like yesterday. I can easily call up the pain, the loss, and the tears. And it makes me realize just how incredible love and the human connection it creates, is.
I hope that those of you out there who still have a dad in the here and now are planning something nice for him. And I hope that those of you who have lost their fathers, have some peace in the love that remains in your heart for your dad.
Have a blessed Father’s Day weekend.
First, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who expressed sympathies about losing my dog Maggie last week. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me except to say, it meant a lot. So, thank you to everyone.
Going against my natural instincts, I decided to adopt another dog, rather than wait. I think that Maggie would’ve been happy about that. In fact, I am too. Because out of the deep sorrow I felt at losing my dog of 13 years, I am now feeling immense joy from the new puppy. Lily.
I will always have the old memories of Maggie – she was a remarkable dog – a remarkable ‘person’ and can’t be replaced. But Lily is a little white bundle of joy and I look forward to making new memories with her.
If you have lost a beloved pet, I empathize with you. Deeply. It is a profoundly sad experience. But if you are holding off in adopting a new pet, don’t. Please, don’t. There are so many wonderful animals out there just waiting to find a loving family. And you could be that family.
Last night I lost my dog Maggie. She was three months shy of her 13th birthday and though a little creaky and long in the tooth, she had more energy than any 10 people in the room.
I got her when she was five weeks old and we’ve been through many adventures over the years. Some good. Some bad. But she was always there, right by side, raring to go wherever I went. And many times, it seemed she was the only friend I had in the world. And believe me, that was enough. No matter how bad things got, I always knew there was one ‘person’ in the world who truly loved me no matter what shape I was in.
Chasing squirrels and lizards
Barking at possums
Going for a ride
Chasing the ball
Going for a walk
Sleeping on my bed
Bunching up my rugs
And if you scratched her chest, she’d stand on her haunches for hours – just to make it easier for you.
Anybody who ever met her, loved her. You just couldn’t help yourself but fall for the funny little dog who seemed to have a permanent smile on her face.
She didn’t love…
Dog food (people food was so much better)
Anybody who scared her cats
Eye drops, medicine or vaccinations
Going to the vet’s
Last night, she went out into the backyard and charged an unwanted guest. I heard her barking, but I thought it was the possum she was barking at. The one who likes to climb along our wall. It made her happy to bark at the possum, so I didn’t call her in.
Then the barking stopped.
Then my room mate screamed my name.
The unwanted guest in the yard was a coyote.
We rushed her to the emergency vet. She was struggling to breathe but she was awake and alert and moving. I thought she’d be okay.
But the vet was taking too long to talk to me and I knew. The injuries were too severe. Her windpipe had been punctured. She had too many injuries. My white shirt was soaked with her blood.
We said goodbye and then she was gone.
My life was better because she was in it. My life will never be the same now that she’s gone. I will miss her more than I can say.
A mathematical approach to love? It can’t hoit, right?
Happy V-Day. 🙂
Friends are the best and what the heck would we do without them? But we’re so busy all the time and there’s always so much to do, we sometimes don’t say the things we should to our friends. So, I’ll say it here and now.
I am not your friend because you are always happy, cheerful and care-free. The truth is I love you even when your warts are showing.
I think you are a wonder even when you can’t control your anger, sadness or depression. I respect you because you can feel deeply and feelings are neither good or bad – they’re just feelings.
My wish for you is that you are always happy and that life is a continuous adventure. But I know that sometimes you aren’t and it’s not. But that’s okay because I still love you. (Even if you have gained 50 pounds and can’t give up the chocolate.)
I want you to always feel loved but I know that sometimes you feel alone.
I want you to know you can tell me anything – even the the things you keep from me because you don’t want to be a bummer.
I want you to spread your lovely wings and fly. But I understand that there are times when wings break and the back-ups are at the dry cleaners.
Why do we try so hard to be perfect? Don’t you know that you are perfect just as you are in all your wonderful imperfections? Well, you are.
To all my wonderful friends – you are truly special people.
Every year around Father’s Day I get a little weepy because my dad is no longer with us. Put frankly, I miss the hell out of him. I wish he were still here. I wish today I was taking him out for a pancake breakfast and a round of mini-golf, or trekking out to (God forbid) Disney Land so we could go It’s a Small World and the Pirates of the Caribbean a bagillion times.
I think about times we could have spent together but didn’t because we lived 3,000 miles apart. I still can’t listen to Johnny Cash without getting teary-eyed because Cash was one of Dad’s favorites. Ditto with Budweiser commercials, Rodeo movies, and soft-serve chocolate ice cream.
I think my dad was my very first friend. I suppose I am like millions of other daughter’s who were daddy’s girls. And my memories of him are like a crazy mixed-up collage of lessons learned, laughs shared, reflections, realizations, simple pleasures, weird adventures, heated debates and knowing that I was loved.
Dad wasn’t perfect – far from it and I have no desire to idolize him. He was a man with many flaws and could be stubborn as hell. But he was real and he was honest. He knew who he was. He took his responsibilities seriously but he never took life too seriously. He wasn’t politically correct, subtle or fashionable. He was just Lucky. He was just a man who worked hard, loved his family and did everything he could to help and he was my dad.
Happy Father’s Day Dad – hope all is well where you are – that you’re having fun and finding lots of things to laugh about – that the coffee is hot and strong, that the sun is shining and you’re spending time watching the boats in the harbor. That your camera always has film, your radio has a country music station and calories don’t count in heaven.
Heads up! My dear friend Kelly who had a serious car accident a couple of years ago (you may remember her from this post) has started a movement called National Thank You Day. The day is meant to honor first responders and to say thank you in whatever way you would like to those individuals who serve the public by responding to often dire situations – firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency room nurses and doctors, etc. And it seems to be really catching on and on.
So get on over to BigTimeThanks and check it out. You may find there is someone you want to give some big time thanks to yourself.
And this is just for you Kelly:
I put on purple socks today
which made me think of you
I walked them out into the day
and wished the sky to blue
I bought a box of chocolates
and ate them in your stead
I called up God and placed my bets
then uttered prayers in bed
I forced myself to belly laugh
and make it very loud
and gathered lillies along the path
to chase away your clouds
I tried to do the many things
that inform the world of you
in deepest hope that angel’s wings
will fly us back to true
The Graveyard Shift
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