I sat here for what seems like forever trying to think of a title for this post. I think that is a big indicator as to how hard it is for me to verbalize and express my feelings in regard to losing two dads. TWO. Not just one.
My step dad was my dad for 20 years. He never attempted to replace my biological dad when he died in 1995. I always called him by his name, Don. For most of my life, he was the male figure in my life that supported me in any way a dad is supposed to. He was a typical man with bad jokes ranging from just plain stupid to mildly and very offensive! I remember as a kid I was a total klutz and he used to always ask me "well, did you hurt the pavement?" Of course, he said this about whatever I fell or crashed into... ha!
I have so many wonderful memories of this man and he would have done anything for me at any time. I miss him dearly. We lost him in February of last year. I can still hear his voice talking to me about the Superbowl game. It must have been one of the last times I had a conversation with him before he was intabated at the hospital. I also remember our nightly ritual when I was a little girl. I gave everyone a hug and said goodnight and Don used to always say: "See you in the booty head!" I have no idea where it came from but we used to always say that before bed time. This was one of the last things Brandon and I said to Don before he passed. He had been pretty unresponsive as he was on a lot of pain medications and sedatives at the end. But, when we said that before leaving the hospital the last night he was alive... he nodded his head.
I love you, Don. Brandon and I talk about you every day and wish that we could have done more to keep you with us. But, we need to focus on the happy memories and stories that we have to remember you by... and there are a ton!
I always feel like I have more to say about Don than I do my real dad. I hate that saying "real dad." As if Don were a fake? Anyway, you know what I mean. My real dad was an adventurous man. He was a rally car enthusiast, lover of living on the edge and loved me with all he had. I have recently been running into many of my dad's old friends and they all awkwardly stare at me. It's kind of weird, really. But, I look just like him. I even have his stalky wide calves. *great* I am glad I look like him. I love being a lot like him. I love hearing all of the great stories that these people have to tell. But... it's hard. Some days I can listen to them and some days I can't. In the end, I want to know things. But, it's hard to know that I will never know the man that they are talking about. It is even harder when I realize things like the love of my life will never meet him or my kids won't meet him. It kills me. But, I hate being a whiner. I have become VERY good at being strong and willing away emotions when it comes to his death. I wish with all my might that he could be here one more time to meet Brandon. I wish he could see how much I'm like him... how often I crash into things at work or knock my head on a door. Or, how often I'm LATE! He was always late.
Anyway, I hate to be a downer post on a wonderful day. I had a good friend tell me after Don died to just be thankful that I had two great dads because his dad sucks. I agree, to a point. But I still am stuck in a train of thought that tells me its not fair to have to lose TWO dads before at the age of 24. I am thankful to have had two wonderful men in my life and I cannot wait to see them again someday.
Happy Father's Day to everyone out there!