For two years I've been trying to write a piece about my dad. And for some reason, I can't get it written. Everything I've written comes off fake. Or makes him sound like a saint, and as much as I loved him, he wasn't.
He wasn't a bad person. He was human. He had a horrible temper, held grudges far longer than he should have, and could terrify you with a look. But he also loved his children--biological and stepchildren. He wasn't always fair, but he did love us.
His grandchildren were the light of his life. One of the biggest regrets I have is that he didn't see my boys much. We lived quite a distance away. And after he got sick with cancer, he didn't feel up to the trip or the chaos a visit would bring if we made the trip. Cancer sucks. It's one of the few diseases where the treatment poisons your body so much that it can sap your will to live.
My dad fought it, but he'd had so many other health problems and eventually he lost the fight. And he held on for his wife and kids. Until we gave him permission to let go. I miss him more than I can say.
He taught me to work with wood. We'd build things together. I love the smell of fresh cut lumber. I sometimes wander the lumber store just to bring back those memories. I learned to change oil, change brake shoes, and clean battery connections from him, too. I've helped him haul wood, herd cattle (a comedy, trust me) and work in his garden. He taught me to shoot guns, fish, dress dove. All those things a daddy might teach a boy, if he'd had one. But Dad had me, my sister and married a woman with two daughters. Poor man!
Well, look here! I actually managed to write a little about him. Huh. Who knew? Maybe I was trying too hard. Anyway, thanks for reading and please feel free to comment and/or share.