February 10, 2010... 3 years. It really doesn't seem like it's been that long. Time heals all wounds? I'm not so sure I believe that. Time maybe makes the wounds less pronounced, less in-your-face, but they don't go away, not completely.
It would be his 71st birthday at the end of this month. Instead, he is celebrating his 3 year birthday today. The eternal-side of of me wants to celebrate with him. The human-side, not so much.
I still dream about him almost every night. I guess it's my brain's way of dealing with him not being here. In my dreams he is alive and kicking, helping me some way or spending time with me like he used to do. I keep wondering when those dreams will stop. Maybe never.
There are still occasions where I almost pick up the phone to call him about one thing or another. It only lasts a second before reality kicks in and I think, "Hello, dummy...remember?" It's so weird the random things that trigger nostalgia.
He was a great daddy. The best. His love language was definitely gift-giving. He loved giving gifts. Valentine's Day was a favorite of his. He always had some fabulous piece of jewelry for my mom, my sister and me. If you'd ask him, he would say he hated that Karyn and I had our ears pierced, but he gave us some amazing earrings over the years. If he was going to buy something, it was going to be the best there was. He didn't skimp.
Anyone who had the honor and privilege of knowing him knows he took joy in giving to others. It was never something he would admit, it was just him.
Growing up, my favorite days were our days together. He took off one day a week from the pharmacy to just spend with me. During the school year, he would pick me up from school and we would go do whatever...go to the farm store, go to Sam's, just drive around..it didn't matter. Summertime meant we had the whole day. We would go to Branson for the day and ride every ride at Silver Dollar City 10 times each. He never complained as I drug him from ride to ride to ride.
He was the dad who bought his daughter and her friends tickets to go see Marky Mark, then suffered through the concert quietly, knowing how much joy it brought them. He was the dad who, when his daughter wanted to go see Warrent, Trixter and Firehouse in concert, took her without question, and then stuffed bubblegum in his ears to keep his eardrums from bursting. He was the dad who would get tickets 3rd row back at a major rock concert, where the speakers are so close they control your heartbeat, just to spend time with his daughter. He was the dad who, though he never tried, became one of my best friends. He was the dad who, even after all three of his children were grown, was still lovingly called daddy...because that's what he was.
Happy homecoming day, daddy!