The last time I spent time with my Dad, before the end, was around June 5, 2011. He had just recovered from surgery, and I wanted to see him and spend a couple of days with him. We went to Chicago Street Deli in Shawnee, Oklahoma, I took a huge coffee to go. He drove us to the part of Shawnee that had the country club and newer developments. We used to do that every Saturday. We wouldn’t talk much, just enjoy each other’s company as he pointed out if someone we knew still lived in a house. We always made fun of one house that had a garish orange color. Then we drove back to the house where I grew up. I didn’t know at the time it would be the last time I spent time with Dad when he was well, but it will always be one of my most favorite memories of him.
My Dad died before my daughter, his first granddaughter, was born. She will only ever know him from pictures, videos, and stories. But I think she’ll appreciate knowing that he knew about her, and he’d already given me important reassurance and advice. That meant a lot, because he spent 35+ years of his life as a pediatrician.
Today, I took a drive with my wife and daughter. Father’s Day will always be a little sad, but I’m grateful that I am a Dad, too, and hopefully one day, my daughter will talk about the fun things she did with her father when she was young.
I miss you, Pop. Happy Father’s Day.