They asked me if I had anything to say, anything to recount about our time together. I had to think about that. I don’t remember too many specific times that we spent together, maybe that was because you were working long hours and double shifts to make sure I was safe and warm and had plenty to eat. At the time I didn’t really understand that, but I had just about everything I wanted, except maybe time with you.
Then there was Heather. That’s when I got to see the real you, Dad. Not the disciplinarian, the “rule maker”, the “wait until your father gets home..” but the man who would get up and get a fussy baby out of my arms and send me to bed while you cooed and cuddled her up and down the hallway all night, calling her your “Natasha”. Instead of the man I felt I was always at odds with, I saw the man who would play tea party or the man who would allow Heather to crawl all over him during one of her medical exams, only to announce that “you have bugs.” I got to see where my warped sense of humor came from and my creativity ( thank you for those, by the way) when I watched you put Heather in an old cardboard diaper box and drag her around the yard for rides, or send her squealing with delight in her cardboard sled up and down the hallway carpet. And when she was grown, I came to understand your generosity when she was in trouble.
Thanks for the memories, (shall I burst into song? Nah). Even though you weren’t the most openly demonstrative person, these are the kinds of memories that let me know how much you loved us, and helped me to understand just who you were and to love you, too. Fish.