Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fathers Day letter to my Dad

Today's post is going to be a little different from what I usually post. Being Fathers Day I am going to write a little letter to my Dad. I know for some of you, hell possibly many of you this post may seem a little morbid but for me it is therapeutic.  I will also share a few pictures from this spring and summer that I wish Dad could have been here in person to see. Here we go......  

It has been so damn long since I have been here I am not sure I will even be able to get something posted. I was on a good run there in March and then BAM, life and my sometimes wavering balance jumped up and bit me. I really thought getting past the 5th anniversary of your passing I was in good shape but I guessed I fooled myself once again. Was it easier than the previous years sure, but still as exciting as springtime is there will always be somewhat of a tempered optimism because of losing you that March day. So here we are at Fathers day and once again my mind is heavy with your physical absence but thinking about you brought me back to sharing some thoughts with the world unfiltered. I sometimes laugh because I just wonder how you would have taken my blogging, tweeting and Facebooking about life. Especially knowing that anyone with an internet connection could see these thoughts. So here I go again despite knowing that your words of "sometimes you gotta just toughen up son" don't square with the fact that I was tougher when you were here in a physical sense.

You and I often used to test each other just as much as we both enjoyed testing the foundations of other humans that we had contact with. I still do that in my own way but I sure don't enjoy it as much as I did when you were here to see it happen. I know I sure miss watching you being you. Nobody did aw shucks, don't get all tightened up about a little nothing like you did. I want you to know that I am getting better at recognizing when you show yourself through someone else that still walks this earth. Last week at Bobs corner when I first saw that guy leaning against his pickup smoking a cigarette I did not approach him because he reminded me of you. I approached him because I saw him buy that pack of Kools and I knew that if I talked to him I would get a second hand olfactory memory of so many of our conversations we shared over the years. Honestly I really didn't pay much attention to what he said but when he mentioned being in the witness protection program I did not doubt him nearly as much as I felt it was you just seeing if I was paying attention. I appreciated the laugh and the smell of that smoke.

A few weeks ago at our branding I really felt you around that day. Pretty smooth day wasn't it and I damn well know you noticed I didn't miss a single cow through the chute that day. I bet you never thought I would learn that you run a chute based on where a cow is GOING to be, not where she currently is. I remember that first time you showed me that idea working those yearlings that cold fall day so many years ago when I could barely reach the handles. In preparation for branding day we cleaned the working shed floor down to bare concrete and you could see where I wrote "Olberding Farms Feb. 20th 1984" when we poured that slab. I also could see where little sister made her big "87" for her graduating class that made me so mad and gave you such a big laugh the day it happened! I remember our exchange that day when I was mad she wrote so big and at an angle after I had so carefully written my inscription. You asked me who told her she could write something and I said it was me. You said that is a good lesson for you son, never try and guess how a female of any species will do anything, just accept it for what it is move on. At the time not knowing I would be a husband and a father of 3 girls I didn't appreciate that wisdom but I sure do now.Thanks for that.

So in the morning I will be up early and I will sit with you and we will watch the sun rise together. I know it does not happen often because you rarely missed being up before the sun while I on the other hand rarely go to bed before 1 a.m. but as time goes on I see more of our similarities than our differences. I was watching a Sopranos episode a few nights ago and it reminded me of one of those moments when we both knew at a base level how similar we are. Remember the night that I test drove that 1971 Camaro in Moses Lake that I wanted to buy so badly and you said it was not a good idea. We were both so mad at each other that night but when the Kinks came on the radio to sing this song we both reached for the volume button at the same time to crank it up! Maybe that is the biggest gift you gave me of all, not being like everybody else. It is memories like that one that cause me to both laugh and be sad at the same time.

Well Dad i sure miss you but I appreciate all you did for me, all you taught me, and most of all for still showing up almost daily in some aspect of life. I have quit trying to predict when it will happen but this great country song by David Ball sums it up. Happy Fathers day Dad.