Thinking of Dad… 3 years after his passing…

Today was the three year anniversary of my Dad’s death and so I tried not to let myself get down too much. I’ll admit it; I still have a lot of tough days, and I am so grateful to my family and friends for being there for me when I have them. But whoever told me that time would mend my broken heart was right. My heart will never be quite the same, but I don’t feel so brokenhearted on a daily basis. I still miss my Daddy a ton, but I’m able to get up every morning without feeling like a complete and utter wreck anymore… well, not all the time, anyway.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over losing my Dad, but I guess that’s the sort of thing some people never “get over,” and I’m ok with that. I still hurt when I see pictures from my Dad taken just days before he had his aneurysm (I can’t believe I know how to spell that now), because none of us knew what was coming and how everything was about to change. But now I can look at other pictures and really remember and the good times we had. Like in this picture below when we were at a wedding reception held on a chartered boat in Newport Harbor. The bride and groom were relatives (Dad’s side) and this picture was just me and my Dad. (Photo taken 9/14/2003) Look how much fun we’re both having. Can’t you see it in our faces? That was a great night.

Joz & her Dad

Pictures like this used to make me really sad because I’d think about all the family weddings we’d attend and how I know he was looking forward to walking me down the aisle if I ever got married. I guess it was thinking about all the things that we never will have a chance to do that has been the hardest. I thought that he was missing out on all these life events, and it’s true, he wasn’t there to physically cheer me on when I got my MBA last year. But the truth is, he WAS there with me and not just for the big “life events,” but also the really small things, too. He was always in my heart and in my mind when I was going to my classes and working on my projects and taking my tests and when I received high honors from the Dean for my grades. I feel like I now really understand how he’s always with me all the time; it’s because he’s such a huge part of who I am.

Like today when I had pizza for lunch, I thought of the time my Mom wasn’t around to make dinner so my Dad took me, my Bro and one of Bro’s friends to the local Pizza Hut for dinner one night. I think I must have been in junior high or so when this happened. I had gotten up from the table to get something and when I got back, the three of them were staring at me, waiting for me to do something. I wasn’t sure what was happening and I got really suspicious, but none of them said a peep. So I took a bite of my pizza and all three of them (my Dad included!) started giggling. I was SURE someone had done something like snot on my pizza, but my Dad said, “I wouldn’t let them do anything to your pizza.”

Only partially appeased, and trusting my Dad wouldn’t let me eat a booger pizza, I said something like, “Well, did you guys do something to something else other than my pizza?”

Dad said, authoratively, “Why would we do something like that?”

I was still suspicious, but I didn’t really know how to counter my Dad. He’s a pretty straight-forward guy when it comes to things, so I took another bite of my pizza and then my brother and his friend started busting up. I was pretty sure I had eaten noogie pizza at that point.

I threw my pizza down on the plate and spit out the bite I had eaten on to the empty spot next to that. “Bleh! What did you do to my pizza?!”

I reached over for my soda to wash out whatever disgustingness I’d just taken a bite of and took a giant swig of Dr. Pepper pepper soda. That’s right: pepper soda. There was a ton of PEPPER in my Dr. Pepper! Aaarrgh! I spit the Dr. Pepper and pepper out on top of my half-masticated pizza bite and reached for the napkins. My Dad handed me a giant stack as I started wiping my tongue off.

He was laughing maniacally, as were the two boys sitting across from me. I was ready to punch my brother.

“Bro!” I shrieked his name as loudly and shrilly as I could. “Why did you do that to my soda!?”

“Joz, I swear it wasn’t me!” said Bro.

I turned to his friend, who would about to get pounded because he was still laughing, too. “I thought you knew better than to mess with me,” I started to threaten. He was laughing, but shaking his head and pointing at my Dad. And Bro’s finger was pointed in the same direction.

There was Dad, snickering to himself at the entire scene that he’d caused. And he was totally busted by his cohorts.

Dad had pranked me! I didn’t immediately think this was very funny, so I very crossly went to get myself a new cup of soda, but when I got back my Dad (still laughing) apologized very quickly.

And then he asked me, “Did you get some more Dr. Pepper?” I looked over at him and he was holding out the almost-empty pepper shaker in my direction with a twinkle in his eyes, and the smirk of a naughty school boy plastered across his face.

I so wasn’t cross after that.

Anyway, I love you, Daddy. And miss you so much. Even the silly Dr. Pepper jokes. Or maybe especially the silly Dr. Pepper jokes.

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1 Response to “Thinking of Dad… 3 years after his passing…”

  • I really enjoyed reading this story about your dad. I didn’t know him too well, but I feel like I’m “meeting” him through these personal (and hilarious) accounts. Thanks, Joz!

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