Both mom and dad did so many amazing things for me over the years, but the ones that really stand out were the ones that dad did. We used to tease mom that it was because I didn’t have any happy childhood memories of her, but in actuality, it was because the things that dad did were the odd-ball things.
Vacations in our family involved camping every summer and it was always a special time when you were invited to learn cribbage with dad. That was the point you knew you were becoming a “big kid”. As we grew up and had kids of our own, the tradition continued, that when you were old enough, Grandpa would teach the little kids how to play. Now, my adult children don’t feel a vacation is complete without challenging Grandpa to a “friendly” game of cribbage. We all take great pride if we are actually able to beat him!
Next, I was around 10 years old and it was my birthday. Dad surprised me with breakfast in bed, but I don’t remember what food he brought. The one thing I do remember is that on the tray was a single perfect yellow rose. It was such a sweet gesture and it was made even sweeter when I later found out that it was the one and only bloom on mom’s yellow rose bush!
Another time, I was sick and mom and dad were going to have friends over. For some reason, dad was concerned that they wouldn’t hear me if I called for them during their event, so his solution… he brought me a sledgehammer to lift and drop on the floor to alert them! I don’t recall ever using it, but the thought was there.
A few years later, our church was having a father/son fishing trip. As dad didn’t have any sons, he decided that he and I would go instead. He packed us a lunch and all the necessary gear and we headed up to Lake Emily. We spent the day in a little aluminum boat. Fishing in silence; me with my Walkman, dad with his. When it came time for lunch, he opened the cooler he packed, and inside I found sugary sodas, candy bars, chips and all the good things that mom would never allow to be in the house! We continued fishing and toward the end of the day, I hooked a BIG one! I was fighting with that fish for what seemed to be forever. Reeling it in and then letting it out a bit. Dad offered to help me and I handed over the rod. Just as soon as he had the rod, the fish swam under the boat, the line hit the edge, and “PING” the line was cut and the fish got away. Dad spent the rest of the afternoon apologizing for letting the big one get away!
There are so many other special memories of dad that I could continue to write, but I’ll wait to add those another time.