Dad & us in Africa
My Father was never at loss for words, he had an opinion about everything and wasn't shy about telling everyone. I have often wondered if me and my brother's gift of gab, came from him, you know, like in our blood, or something. Maybe we were quite vocal, because we were all competing to be heard first. Either way, there was never an awkward, silent moment. I learned to like that about him over the years.
I was maybe eight, and my brother ten, when my Father thought it would be a great idea to have us ride on top of the jeep, as he sped down the beach. I was scared to death and thrilled, both at the same time. My Mother caught wind of this and I heard her scolding him quietly, behind their bedroom door.
When there was a tropical downpour Dad would watch us out the screen of our porch. We'd strip down to undies, and run out into sheets and sheets of warm rain. We would run and slide in the mud, and stand to get clean, and do it again. He would watch, thinking us, crazy!
He tried to teach me through spanking, what was proper behavior, but I ignored him and did exactly what I felt like. So I usually had a sore behind. Being I was raised by nannies, I really saw no reason to obey him. He really did hate spanking me, more than once I remember him threatening that Mother was going to spank me hard, if I didn't do this or that. He was a push-over!
There were many in-between years, years we loved each other, years he was angry that I was breaking my Mother's heart, years I hated him because I felt him too strict and controling.. Years of being so thankful we only had to be together for a few days, because he made me so crazy, and years I would have given anything to be closer, to be there more for him.
I believe all this was made-up for several years before his death when he took me on vacation to Hawaii, just the two of us for two weeks. Since he choose to live so far from us, being together 24-7 was a new experience. We went out to eat together, saw shows, played in the ocean, surfed, jet-skiied, etc. I saw him laugh and get so scared going up into the air in that glider plane. All that we did we did as a team, we hung out together, we made meals together, it was the way it was supposed to be. Family close always, never hundreds of miles away.
I went to visit himout of state, as he had just come out of the hospital. He was weak and told me he wanted to go home, that it was his time.We made arrangements for him to be med-vaced to Minnesota, but he was too weak at the time. We laid in bed together and laughed at all the insane things we did in Hawaii, particularly how I nearly drown him as we tried to launch the kayak. I saw he was getting tired and we left.
After we were home, a small amount of time , his surgeon called. He said my Father wanted no more heart repairs, and asked if that was ok. I told him to do what my Father wanted, the surgeon said he would last a week at best.
My husband drove me to see Dad, one last time, a flood of memories came to me on that trip. I called the hospital to see how he was doing, we were 3 hrs away. The nurse said she was sorry, but he had passed. Passed to a place he has believed in all his life, passed all the trials and troubles and sicknesses of life.
Passed, but never forgotten... my Father.
Hawaii at hotel
Hawaii watching me surf
Me surfing and Dad coaching