Four years ago today my Dad died. He died in a way I never imagined. A car accident. You see....he had suffered through four heart attacks and heart bypass surgery, only to die in a car wreck. Makes no sense. I really thought he would suffer another heart attack and be gone. Strange how life works. I wish I hadn't have bugged him so much about eating right. I'd have let him eat all the chicken fried steak in the world if I'd have known he wasn't going to die from heart disease.
I worked as a business partner to my Dad for three years before he passed away. Three of the best years of my life. I got to spend everyday side-by-side with one of the people I admired and loved the most in the world. You see, my Dad wasn't the normal type of Dad. He adored me. Truly adored me. He used to tell me that I was his legacy. He always wanted me to do better than he did. He always tried to give me more than he had. Every morning when I was a child, he would wake me up and make me sing an old song that goes something like this...."I feel pretty, I feel pretty, I feel pretty, and witty and wise". He wouldn't let me get by with not singing it. And..trust me, when you are a teenager that gets really annoying. But, my Dad was the ultimate optimist. Always cheerful and ready to give you a big smile. He was so proud of my Mom. When I would go to their house to eat dinner, he'd look over at me and then my Mom and say, "My Gosh...look at how beautiful your Mom is. That's the sexiest woman in the world." And then he'd smile really big. A big, ornery smile. That was my Dad.
I never saw that man down. In any situation, he was as calm as a cucumber. He used to have a sign in his office that said," Be like a duck, calm on the surface and paddling like hell underneath." That was his demeanor.
He was actually my savior in my 30th year of life. I had just suffered through a divorce with an 8 month old and a 3 year old and had no idea which way was up. I was completely lost. But, my Dad and Mom moved us in their house and made us feel at home. My Dad gave me a job and worked hard to help me learn the business world. I spent a lot of time worrying that I was a burden on my Dad financially when I got divorced and lived with my parents. But, now knowing that I only had 3 years left with him, I love the fact that I lived with my parents. My sons were able to wake up every morning and sit in his lap. And they did. Every morning. H-man even drank sips of black coffee because he was a toddler and wanted a sip of what "Dan-Dan" was drinking. Dan-Dan would also take T-man to eat at the Brown Cow Cafe before driving him to preschool. Just the two of them. That was their special time together.
I leaned on my Dad a lot in my adult years but I know he loved having me around. If there is anything in this world I am sure of....it's the fact that there was a man that thought the world of me.....and I thought the same about him.
I love you Daddy! Forever and Always!