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.”