|That's my Dad!|
My Dad lived his life the way I strive to everyday. My father was fair. He was honest - honest to a fault some would say. He was strong - in his heart, his mind and his abilities to do anything. He put himself through college, earning two degrees, while working and raising our family. He was so smart - probably the smartest person I have ever known. If my father didn't know how to do something he would read about it and teach himself to do it. Auto repair, computers, bridge, golf. He was amazing.
If my father had a fault it was he smoked. A lot. Too much. [I know, I know one cigarette is too much, but the man SMOKED.]
After 40 years my father developed lung cancer. He was diagnosed shortly after his 65th birthday in 2003. He had several operations, but the cancer kept spreading. As he grew weaker he kept telling us "No radiation, no chemo." He had watched several friends die of this hideous disease and how they struggled through the treatments and he didn't want to suffer like he saw them do. In September of that year he finally relented and agreed to radiation. I took him to all his appointments - and as heartbreaking as those memories are - I mean, I was watching my father die - it was some of the best father- daughter time we have ever spent together. He couldn't speak so well anymore, as the cancer had spread to his brain, but as I drove him around he would hold my hand and every once in a while he would blurt out a funny observation or thought. I knew he was scared, we all were, but he tried to make it easier by still trying to be himself.
My father died in October of the same year he was diagnosed. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and wish that I could pick up the phone or drive over to the house just to hear his parting words once more. Each time, as I was leaving, I would kiss him goodbye and say "I love you." He would reply "Talk to you later." He wasn't big on all the mushy I-love-you kind of stuff, but those "Talk to you laters" meant exactly that - That he loved me and that was his way of telling me so.
Dad, I know you had to go and I am glad that you aren't in anymore pain, but why, why did you have to leave me so soon?
You let me down Dad and I miss you every single day.