…since my Daddy died.
He was 75 years old. His hair was going from gray to white. He wasn't 6' 4" tall anymore. He walked with a painful limp because he had two bad knees (one was a replacement that didn't work out, the other still natural).
He was still as funny as hell. We could sit at his kitchen table and talk for hours (instead of doing other things we had planned).
He loved to watch movies and subscribed to all the premium channels. This year he'd finally got himself a computer and joined the internet. I came for a week to help him figure it all out. One of the first things he wanted to find were all the full length story Associated Press sites — he was the biggest news addict I'd ever known. Then he wanted to know if one really could watch new releases on the internet and how (yes, I showed him and we bookmarked them together).
And then he was all "show me the porn." I wasn't shocked or even embarrassed. He told me decades ago that his ambition for old age was to be a dirty old man. I laughed all through his logical explanation as to why. My Dad was an early subscriber to Playboy. (And he did read the articles, too!) Wanting to see porn on the internet? Not surprising at all. Although he did tell me soon tired of it all. There was just too much and it was all so bad. He would stick to his Playboys, thank you very much.
Then he wanted to know about Facebook. I took him to my account and shared my password with him. He would login just to watch what people were posting, to see what I, or his oldest grandson might be up to. He was amazed at how some of my "friends" seemed to be online 24/7.
My Dad served in the Air Force, National Guard, and Army Reserves. He'd been a professional photographer and a bartender. He could dance the pants off those kids in "Dirty Dancing." At least he did when he was that age, he'd told me, only they had called it "Boogie Dancing" back in the day.
In the Air Force he was a graphic designer. He got his Bachelors in Art Education when I was in the sixth grade. He started out as a substitute teacher (even landing in some of my own classes) before getting a full-time position at another school in the next town, but the pay and benefits sucked and he was soon back in the military from which he would retire.
He was a skilled artist. He could fix his own cars and just about any other mechanical thing. He was a carpenter. He taught me how to build a house from the ground up, how to fix a flat tire on my bicycle, and even to camp responsibly. Our family would go camping for weeks at a time in the summers.
He was not the best father. I lived most of my childhood in fear or awe of him. He was that dynamic.
I loved my Daddy in unexplainable terms. I miss him so much.
I'm still at his house.
Darling Husband is on the way. Lily is watching out the living room windows and door.
Soon my older brother will be filing his estate with the probate court and thus will begin the dividing.
I still miss my Daddy in his house. I know I'll be going home soon, but I'll still miss my Daddy for a long time coming.