Today, one whole year has passed since my dad died. I've been thinking about a lot of things...about who my dad was, about how he influenced so much in my life, about that horrible day spent at the hospital one year ago yesterday and I really just don't know where to start or if I should write anything at all. How can I even sum him up in a few paragraphs on my blog? It is impossible. There is too much to say, yet I can't help but try to describe him and remember him.
Here are a few facts: He still carried his keys on a 25 year old key chain which said "Dad's Keys." One of my favorite times with him was when he tried to haggle at the thrift store for a $5.00 suit case. He used the term "twofers." If you haven't guessed from his love of the term twofers or the haggling at a thrift store, he was cheap. He always took advantage of senior discounts once he was eligible. He once tried to fill up two cars with his Fuel Perks discount at Giant Eagle and tried to use me as his accomplice. He got busted by a very sassy attendant. He drank a lot of coffee and he always drank it black. He didn't like to waste. After he died I found about 20 (I'm not exaggerating) Styrofoam coffee cups in the kitchen which he was 'reusing.' He was genuine and kind and patient and he really listened and I mean really. He was hilarious. He had a magnificent hearty laugh. He couldn't stand George W Bush. He had a mustache for most of my life. Two of his favorite shows were Scrubs and that Funniest Home Video Show. He remembered things about you most people forgot. One of my favorite things in the world was having lunch with him. I miss his voice and I wish words could properly describe the sound of it. I wish I had a recording of him saying something, even if it were just a voicemail message. I loved his handwriting. He loved Ohio State Football, but he wasn't one of those annoying fans that goes overboard. Two days before he died he took my 10 yr old nephew to his very first Ohio State game. He always bought his cars used. He loved cookies and ate too many of them, especially after he quit smoking. He smoked for 40 years. He was humble and even though he accomplished much in his career, he would still describe himself simply as a social worker. Anyone who knew him knew he was so much more than that. If Carl Brauner was the one helping you pick yourself up off your feet...you had landed in the right place. He was more selfless than anyone else I have ever known. He died way too soon.
I know I have blogged a lot about my dad this past year...and I appreciate that you have stuck around as I wander through and make sense out of grief. It helps me to write here. I can't help but write about him and I doubt this will be the last time. He is a part of what makes up this blog now and what makes up me.
This morning I went to the cemetery for the very first time. I decided to take snickerdoodles instead of flowers to set at dad's grave. At the grocery store, the sign above the cookies read: "Life's Short. Eat Cookies." I couldn't have said it any better.