When I think of my dad, those are the four things I think of right off the bat. Four of his favorite things. And lucky for him, he could pretty much do all four of them at the same time.
Other things I think of when I think of my dad?
Jigsaw puzzles. Goodness he loved those things. There was ALWAYS one in progress on his coffee table. There in the middle, between the partially full ashtrays, and empty beer cans, always a jigsaw puzzle in some state of togetherness. He’d finish one and start another right away.
Darts. Dad taught me to play darts. We played together in a league in what used to be the best dive bar in town. Every week, drinking Stroh’s and
playing darts. Some of the best times I had were in that crappy and beautiful bar with my dad.
When I did the math this year, I found that in November it will be 16 years since he passed. 16 fucking years. That seemed like such a giant number to me, because it still seems like just yesterday. When you lose a family member or loved one, you get all that cliched advice. Time heals. It gets better. Blah, blah, blah. But you know what ….
It really doesn’t. It doesn’t heal. It might get easier on some days, but it’s never better. He is gone and never coming back. That is not changing. It will be a shitty I deal with on the regular thing for the rest of my life.
On a daily basis something will happen and I will wish he were here to share it with. I will laugh at something and think about how hysterical he would have found it. I drink some amazing craft beers and wonder, despite his predilection to Stroh’s, which styles he’d like and which he wouldn’t. I see him in my son. In his amazingly high-level smart-assed-ness and and pro-level sense of humor. I see his giant heart in my daughter. I think the only person ever to exist with a heart bigger than hers was my dad.
I’m at a point in my life where it would be really great to have him around … and that made this particular Father’s Day a little tougher than the others up to now. I spent the day bar hopping and day drinking and ended up in my current favorite dive bar, drinking a Stroh’s with a Jameson neat to go with it. In honor of Dad.
I miss you Dad! Life is kinda rough right now, so I’m going to power through, like you always did. I’m going to try to laugh more. Play more golf. Find all the best dive bars and play darts in all of them. Drink a Stroh’s every now and then. And laugh. A lot.