Thanks to Tiburon for the Thankful Thursday idea and banner.
Today I'm grateful that I got to know my dad. I almost didn't get that privilege.
When mom was expecting me my dad was in a gas explosion while working. Dad worked road construction. He was down below street surface and some how a gas line had been cut or left on. I'm not sure which (and no matter how many times I ask I can never remember). He and another guy were working and dad realized something was wrong. Dad pushed the other guy out ahead of him but was caught in the blast himself. Thankfully he was wearing thick coveralls because it was cold. Unfortunately his hands and his face were burnt badly.
We used to have pictures of dad in the burn hospital. His face was so swollen, eyes swollen shut, hands all in bandages. I remember mom telling me once how horrific it was to have to go to the hospital because of what they had to do to dad. His burns had to be scrubbed out, scrubbed and I seem to remember her saying something about them having to use salt water. I wonder if she meant saline? Or if that's how she explained it to me. Sadly we've lost those pictures. Us kids would take them to school for show and tell often. I wonder what dad thought about that?
Because of that explosion my younger brother and I had a different dad than my 5 older siblings. They said that before the explosion he would laugh and smile more often. Growing up I was hard pressed to find dad smiling or laughing (unless it was around time for the deer hunt). Some of that soberness, I'm sure, came from coming close to death. Another part of it was that his skin was so tender and pulled so tight that it could have actually physically been hard for him to smile.
We don't have many pictures from when I was little. Our family wasn't very well off and pictures weren't a "need". This picture is one of dad and me at a Daddy Daughter Date that we had when I was younger. He would smile for pictures like this.
This is a picture of my sister Angie and him at a similar activity. I think that this was probably about four or five years after the explosion.His skin was healed but he wasn't smiling. He looks pretty good for having been in an explosion doesn't he?
Mom helped him take care of the burns after he came home from the hospital. They came to rely heavily on Lubriderm Lotion. Mom truly believes that dad looked as good as he did because they used this lotion everyday morning and night. Forever when I smell this I will think of dad.When I grew up and moved out I tried to make a point of giving dad a hug and a kiss whenever I saw him. Today over at Crazyland, Motherboard's bucket filler is "Give a kiss to someone you love." I say, DO IT! You don't know when it will be that last chance you have to give them a kiss.
Anyhow. Thirty-seven years doesn't seem like a long time to have your dad around. But it's longer than some. And for that I am Thankful beyond measure.