Two years ago today I had to said goodbye to my dad.
It was bittersweet and I miss him.
So for today...
Things I want to remember about my dad.
His work ethic.
My dad knew what hard work was and he wasn't afraid of it.
You could even say he embraced it.
When I was younger he would come home from a full day of working a difficult job laying cable or grading roads and, even though I'm sure he was very tired,
you could still find him out tilling in the garden or chopping wood
until the sun went down.
As he got older his body limited the things that he could do
but often he pushed that frail body because he
couldn't stand to not be working.
This is a picture of him about a year before he died.
He couldn't stand up straight and his back hurt him
more than I will ever know.
And yet here he is on his hands and knees in the beans
weeding them and picking them.
How much he loved his Kubota tractor.
I think he loved it because it helped him work.
He would drive that little orange tractor a block and a half over to our house
and till up our garden plot for us.
And it wasn't just one run over it was back and forth and back and forth
until the dirt was a beautiful shade of dark brown.
The kids would take turns sitting with him and "driving".
That is one of the fondest memories I have is watching each of my children
in my father's arms as he sat there atop the orange Kubota.
I want to remember how much he loved his grandkids.
He loved holding them and having them come to visit.
He and Jilli were two peas in a pod. She loved to go and hang out
in the shed with Grandpa Lyman.
He had the Cheetos*.
Here he is holding Jona on the day he was blessed.
His sense of humor.
He had such a shockingly funny sense of humor that most people were
not aware of because he was a gruff and quiet man.
He let it show more as he got older. Or maybe I was just more aware of it.
See that grin?
(See that salt shaker? I get my love of salt from my dad)
October was his favorite time of the year.
It meant that the hunt was on.
And, oh, how he loved the hunt.
He was out on the mountain just before he got sick.
It was the first time in a couple of years that he had felt
well enough to go.
Mom said that he sang the whole night while he was
getting ready to head out with Roger.
The hunt was one of the few things he would take time off from work for.
I never want to forget that of all the places he loved to work,
this was his favorite.
I also need to remember that,
He was not perfect.
He got angry.
He was impatient.
Sometimes he didn't show my mom the respect she deserved.
He was a rough and gruff man,
who scared many of my friends
and most people who didn't get the chance seek past
the exterior and get to know him.
Most of all I want to remember my dad was courageous.
He lived most of his life in physical pain.
And sometimes that made him not very fun to be around.
But he kept on.
He wasn't afraid to live.
I hope he knows how much I love him.
Until I see you again dad.
*I'm thinking that I'll be making a special trip to the store
tomorrow to grab a bag of Cheetos.