To Dad

One of the last questions my dad asked me was, “What’s with the Jiff in the cupboard?”

My dad was loyal to his peanut butter. Skippy brand. Super Chunk. No other way.

“Sorry Dad,” I said, “I think it was the cheapest option.”

That is one thing we have in common. Being cheap – or rather, as we prefer to call it, being “bargain hunters.” Dad and I, we love a good deal.

There are a million things to remember and miss about a love one taken too soon. I’m sure this list will grow as I continue to get older and I hope that the space my dad fills in my heart continues to expand, rather than shrink over time. For now, in the tsunami of emotions that come with this perplexing event, here are some of the things I will forever love about Dad.

He has this horrendous hat that he would wear on the weekends. The black fabric was bleached with sweat and salt from mowing lawns, or cleaning house. He refused to get rid of it though, because it was a gift I gave him during my freshman year of college. He wore the baseball cap with the University of Colorado logo often, and would cheer along with my alma mater proudly. In a family of Rams, Dylan and I are going to miss his Buffalo solidarity.

In fact, he refused to get rid of a lot of things. Our Disney VHS collection still exists, my artwork from elementary school, a ticket stub from a Rockies game, toys from his childhood, swim noodles to keep because you just never know when you may need to go for a dip in the lake. I love his appreciation for the little mementos that others discard. These collections have made up his life.

I’m going to miss ordering his tall Pikes Place cup of coffee when making a Starbucks run. Black – no cream, no sugar. I’ll miss making fun of his dance moves, and the way he would text us informative articles from Yahoo.com as he perused the internet each evening. I’ll miss snacking with him as we cooked meals together, filling up on chip crumbs and cheddar cheese before the main entrée ever made it to the table. Cinnamon ice cream and cookies for breakfast will forever be eaten in his honor.

You can’t end a reflection like this with a best, or a favorite, or even a most prominent statement. The things I love about my father continue to blend, and meld together, swirling to create beautiful images of the man God gave to me to be my dad. When asked the question, “Will you love your dad forever?”, I have to answer with his default Minnesotan response, “Oh, you betcha.”

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7 comments

  1. A truly beautiful tribute to a wonderful and well-loved man. I didn’t know him for long relative to others but he never made me feel like a stranger. Every time I saw him he would always be so kind, and we would always strike up a great conversation that wasn’t just limited to surface talk. I loved that, and it was so appreciated. The world has lost someone it shouldn’t have. I’m so sorry Katie, and I love you and am here for you.

  2. Oh, honey. Sitting here with tears in my eyes. From the minute I met you, every time you spoke of your dad and mom, I saw the deep love you had for them. I could tell they loved you unconditionally, too – something so few experience. I hate that you lost him. I hate that he passed so young. These things make me angry. But I love that you were loved. And that you loved. Keep sewing that quilt – it is stunning. Love, love, love you.

  3. Such a moving and heartfelt tribute. The little details mean a lot and really tell the truth about a person. I’m so glad you shared those here. Makes me feel like I knew the man. I know he was a huge presence in your life and much loved and that you will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Katie,

    What a beautiful reflection of your dad. Thanks for sharing it with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care.
    Hugs and love,
    Mary

  5. My Dear Katie ~ Your reflections of your father are not only thoughtful but beautiful. He was a lucky man to have you for his daughter. Thank you so much for sharing a glimpse of him with all of us who read your blog. My heart aches for both you and your mom. Take care. Sending you light and love.

    Nancy

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