Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Father's Day: In Memoriam

Father’s Day is only a few days away. For the past 8 years (this will be 9) this day is one that I really do not look forward to all that much. The reason being that in October of 1997 my dad was killed and to this day we still do not know all the details or what truly happened that night.

But for this post I don’t want to dwell on the negatives but to try and remember some of the good times that I had during the 19 years that I knew him.

During the summer of 1984, my brother and I were in the backyard playing on the swing set and I was hanging on the bar and I dropped off and landed on my arm. Well that evening after cleaning up dad took me to the hospital to get my arm checked out to see if anything was wrong with it. Dad and I ended up spending most of the night in the hospital. I remember that dad got a chocolate bar and was giving me small bites until the nurse came by and told him that I could not have any…and as soon as the nurse left he gave me the rest of it. It was late at night when we left the hospital after the doctor x-rayed and set my arm in a cast. Before we headed home dad took me to the donut shop and let me get something to eat which was really cool and a treat. This was the same year that I played soccer and the referees would not let me play with the cast on my arm. Dad came up with the idea of wrapping the cast in foam so I would not accidentally clobber some innocent kid on the field during the game.

I also remember that on Saturdays he would work half a day at the office and sometimes I would go in with him. Not only did I get out of doing work around the house but we usually would get breakfast before we went to the office. Once at the office I would just hang out or “help” out doing stuff (which meant I drew pictures and made paper airplanes). I would also jump at the chance to go to Cleveland with him when he had to go to Cleveland for optical seminars. I remember that there were times when we would be traveling late into the night and keep him company while he was driving (which might be why I have trouble sleeping in a car). There was one time we were driving to the beach and for some reason we drove through the night and while mom and my brothers were in the back (we had a suburban) sleeping I was right up front talking to him and trying not to fall asleep myself.

The last time I got to spend time with dad was Labor weekend 1997. He and I went to the island and went boating. It was great because it was just the two of us and I got to spend some quality time with him.

I will always remember the last thing he said to me the last time I talked to him was a week or so before he died. It was the beginning of my sophomore year of college and me and some of my friends thought it would be cool to leave Buckhannon, WV early Saturday morning and drive to Virginia Beach for the day then drive back to school that evening. It was a long drive and we didn’t get back until about 4am in the morning Sunday. Well that evening mom and dad called and I for some reason told them about the weekend excursion and let’s just say that they were not happy, but before the call ended dad told me how proud he was of me and was glad that I was doing well and enjoying school. Had I known that was the last time I was going to talk to him I can’t begin to think the things I would have wanted to tell him about how much I appreciated the time we got to spend together over the years.

If I become a father someday I hope I can be half the dad that he was that I can take the things I learned from watching him and raise my kids the way he raised me and my brothers. Not a day or milestone in my life goes by that I don’t think of him, but I take comfort in the fact that he is looking down from heaven and one day I will get to see him again.

I miss you Dad...



Anonymous said...

Hi Chad, I ran across your profile on myspace.

I just want to say that your dad was a sweet, peaceful, gentle and kind man and your blog post is a wonderful tribute to his life. the world is a better place for the time he spent here.

I hope father's day is not to hard you. Your friend, Autumn

Shawn said...

I know we could write an entire blog on our dad and not even begin to recount or even remember all the great memories. Even after all these years, I am still frequently reminded by something I see or do that reminds me of dad, and brings back the feeling of loss. I enjoyed reading your rememberances, especially those stories I didn't know already.

Jenette said...

My goodness, Chad. You made me cry on a Saturday morning.

You already know I think you're an awesome person, and after reading some about your dad, I understand where you get it.

Don't dread Father's Day. Instead, let it be the time that you celebrate your dad. Because he still is and always will be your dad, no matter that he's in Heaven.