Posted by: simplyelizabeth | November 11, 2009

Thankful for Memories

Spoiler – this may be lengthy and more than you care to know, but it’s good, cheap therapy for me.  If you decide to join the ride – thanks.  If not, come back tomorrow for more lighthearted drivel. 🙂

13 years ago today my Daddy went home to be with Jesus.  My mom and I werent’ ready for him to go, but as so often is the case, God didn’t consult us first.  It’s OK.  He can do that since He’s God and all.

The whole thing was unexpected and instantaneous.  We should all be so blessed in our own passing. 

It happened in the evening.  I was at a Country Peddler home show with my ex MIL.  My ex-hubby called to tell me my Mama had called and said to meet her at the hospital.  Daddy was very sick.

The details one tends to remember about significant events in their lives are crazy, aren’t they?  I don’t think Country Peddler exists anymore – but I sure liked their stuff.

That morning I had talked to my Dad on the phone.  We had talked about Christmas and a gift he had ordered for my DD.  He was excited about it.  He was always excited about gift giving and 9 times out of 10, very good at it.   He had ordered a hand made rocking elephant for DD.  He was pleased with himself because my ex was a Republican and collected elephants.  DD wasn’t quite two, so she liked anything that rocked.  Really, I don’t think she cared.  Point being, he thought the ex would get a kick out of it too because Daddy and Mama are Democrats.

Well, I over explained that, didn’t I.

I spoke to him that morning as I did almost everyday.  The last thing we ever said to each other was, “I love you.”

I am so thankful for that.  I don’t think anyone can ask for more when they’ve lost a loved one.

I won’t go into the hospital details, but he was gone before he even got there.  He’d had a stroke and within the briefest of seconds, he was no longer with us. 

I know I’m biased, but my Daddy was an incredible man.  I’m not saying he was perfect.  Nobody is that and anyone that remembers a parent that way isn’t dealing in reality or was too young to truly know them. 

I know this because I am an imperfect parent.    Just ask my kiddos – especially the teenager.  LOL

My Mom is an imperfect parent, but don’t tell her.  I think I’m pretty safe saying this here because she does not have a computer.  If you know her, don’t tell on me.  No matter how old I am, I’m still her kid and she reserves the right to punish me for having a smart mouth – even if I got it from her.

I am so thankful my Dad was my Dad. 

I am so thankful that God saw fit to take me and place me in a home with he and my mom.  (I’m adopted if you don’t know or have forgotten.  This makes me chosen and special.  My Mommy and Daddy told me so.)

I am so thankful that my Dad made it a point to take time with me to talk and listen.  He had this gift he gave to whomever he was speaking with.  He made them feel like they were the only one that mattered.  He listened and participated and asked questions.  It’s rare in a person and even more rare in a man – thus giving me unrealistic expectations in life.  Gee Daddy, Thanks! 

OK, I really do think it’s a gift and he really did have it.

He was an honest man and kept his word. 

He believed Jesus was Lord.

He had a caring concerned heart.

He really liked to spoil me.  Hey, don’t  judge me!

When I was in Jr. High and High School, we would often take Saturday mornings to grocery shop for my mom.  We usually ate breakfast someplace and sometimes lunch too.  We just talked.  I will always miss just talking. 

He was a dreamer.  He was an optimist.  He was a writer and story teller.

He showed great respect and love to all the women in his life – his mom, my mom, my Grandma Nanny, my Grandma Trover, my Aunt Gayle and me. 

I mentioned earlier that he loved giving gifts.  He would have moved in with Santa if it were possible.  He wanted to make sure the gifts meant something.  My mom recently told me a story about a day she and her mother spent together when she was in her twenties.  They had a very special relationship.  They had had a rocky relationship during her teenage years, but were closer than ever after college.  I get the feeling from my mom that she didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as she would have liked.  On this particular day, it was special because they were together doing what mother’s and daughter’s do.  It was just one of those days you know is a really good day. My dad met back up with them toward the end of the day and had a gift for both of them.  He had gotten them matching coat pins.  He told them he got the pins so they would remember that particular day. 

Yep.  He could express himself through words and gift giving. 

Now that I’ve given you an ooey gooey story, let me tell you another story that has no oo or goo.  I was in college and needed a new car.  I was blessed that my parents could get a car for me.  It wouldn’t be a new car, but I didn’t care.  My dad wanted to look for me.  I was fine with that.  I’m not a control freak and if I’m not paying for it, how much can I demand or complain?  Not much, so I figured.  I only asked for three things – no vinyl seats, air conditioning and an AM/FM radio.  I didn’t even ask for the radio to have a cassette player.  (That’s what we played, cassettes, before CD’s) 

So one night I come home from work and see foreign car in our driveway.  I think to myself, “I didn’t know they were having company tonight.”  As I walk up to the house, I see my mother walk by in her robe.  I think again, “Hmmm.  They must really know these people well, because mother is never seen unless she’s in full dress and make-up.”  I walk in the house and there are no other people in the living room.  There is just my mother.  I so innocently ask her, “Who’s car is that in the drive?”  She replies, “Go ask your Father.”

This is never a good reply when you’re a child.  It wasn’t, “Go ask Daddy.” or “Go ask your Dad.” or “Oh Honey!  Go talk to your Dad!”  with excitement and anticipation.  Nope.  It was, “Go ask your Father.”  It’s kinda like she used his first and middle name as a mother would to scold her child. 

So I went and asked my Daddy and he told me it was my new car.  OK  We went to look at it.  I immediately understood the tone in my Mama’s voice.  It was a ’76 Dodge Aspen.  It was metallic blue with vinyl seats, no air and an AM only radio.  I had a bit of a moment.  I cried.  My dad thought I was ungrateful.  My Mom told me she told him I wouldn’t like it.  This only served to make him a bit more irritated because she couldn’t possibly know me as well as he did.  This was usually true, but not in this case. 

I drove that car for about a year.  My college friends enjoyed making fun of me in it.  Were those people really my friends?  About that time Aspen cologne for men came out and I would often find samples in my dear car.  Boy was that thing ugly.  After that car, I had an adorable red hatchback Pontiac.  I totaled it.  Then, though most undeserving, they got me a great Toyota Corolla with a sun roof and the works.  It had been my dad’s secretary’s car.  I totaled it too.  Yep, I was a hazard.  God protected me, but I now believe he was trying to tell me to get out of the relationship I was in.  I’m not always as good a listener as my Dad was. 

So, there’s a small part of my Daddy that I’m thankful for.  I’d go on, but I’d lose you.  I’m even thankful for the Dodge Aspen.  It’s given my mom and me many laughs that send me running to the bathroom.  He was great at connecting with people around him, but don’t give him a wrench or hammer or anything of the like.  It’s bound to get broken. 

 I don’t think I really explained all that I feel, but that’s OK.  Maybe it’s a project for me to take on and share with my kiddos.  That is one thing – my heart is heavy when I think of what DD and my boys are missing by not knowing him.  They will someday.  I imagine Daddy will be at the pearly gates to meet us all.  🙂

If you know a serviceman or woman – go thank them today.  They deserve our thanks and honor.

If your parents are still alive, go honor them by giving them a call and telling them how much you love them – even if you think they don’t deserve it.  Nothing is unforgivable in God’s eyes nor should it be in ours. 

OK – if you’re life is in danger from them, stay away, otherwise, buck up little camper.  Make the first move

Really, I feel very strongly about this. 

I hope you all have a great day!  Return tomorrow for thankfulness of toots and the like.

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

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Responses

  1. Amy here.
    Beautiful post, Elizabeth. I loved reading these precious memories about your dad. You can tell you had a great relationship. I’m sorry you lost him so early in your life, when there were many more memories to make. Your therapy made great, heartfelt reading!
    P.S. Have to admit, a little surprised that your ex is/was a Republican? Is he still?

    • You know, I’ve often wondered if he’s changed camps. I guess I’ll just have to ask.

  2. Love it. I think of certain family members with the same fondness. This was a lovely read.

  3. Your Dad sounds like he was a great man!! Great post!!

  4. Thaks for sharing your memories…nothing is better than a trip down memory lane!! It does the soul good!

  5. ❤ this … every word is from your heart

  6. Love this … every word is from your heart

  7. very good post Elizabeth


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