My dad died in November 17 years ago. I was shocked when my step-mom reminded me how long it’s been. But in another way, it seems much longer than that. I miss that guy, even though he was “a handful.” Oh the fights we used to have 🙂 I began to experiment with eye rolling as a teen and you can guess what behavior would send my dad from 1 to 10 in .5 seconds. So of course rolling my eyes became my favorite thing to do.
He was a bit on the controlling side (my brother will laugh at the understatement there) like, if we didn’t know our weekend plans in advance, say on Monday or Tuesday, it was a major fight to get out the door on Saturday. But, seriously, what teenager knows what they are doing on the upcoming weekend on Monday??
And the Christmas tree. Oh, the Christmas tree. There were rules. Like these:
- All ornaments must hang; they could not rest on the branch below them.
- No ornaments could hang from the string of lights, they could only hang from the branch.
- Two ornaments of the same color could not dangle next to one another on the tree. Never, ever.
- There could be no obvious “holes” in the tree. You had to start on the inside of the tree and work outward to ensure that said holes would not exist.
- Tinsel could never, ever be used, unless you were willing to put it on the tree one strand at a time.
It has made putting up my own tree interesting, as I find myself purposely breaking the rules, while simultaneously feeling guilty for breaking the rules. Ah, parental issues.
And, oh, the issues from his ‘teasing.’ It could be a bit warped, like the time he hung my favorite doll from my bedroom light. Still so mad about that!
But in spite of the challenges of growing up with my father, I loved him like no one else. He was the one who taught me the passion of reading a good book. He indulged my love of animals, all the way back to the night when he brought a stray cat I had wanted to save against my mom’s wishes in from outside and snuck it into my bed. He was smart and funny and underneath the bluster, a big softie. No surprise that smart and funny are at the top of my list in looking for a partner.
Yeah, I miss him. One of the things I miss the most is saying goodnight. Even though we weren’t an especially emotionally demonstrative family, we always ended the night with a kiss and me saying, “Good night, love ya, see you tomorrow.” In later years, his response would be “Spaghetti” because he swore I said it one night while half asleep, but I think he made that up. Still, I wouldn’t have liked saying goodnight any other way.
Good night, love ya and see ya tomorrow, guys! (well, not really tomorrow, but just go with it)
P.S. Not too long ago, the lovely Janie Junebug passed on a list of 50 questions that she answered on her blog. I decided to add them to my About Kinley Dane section, for those that want to learn all kinds of completely useless information about me. So if you are feeling particularly bored…feel free to peruse: About Kinley Dane.