June 21, 2015

That's No Lady!

My life of work for pay, work for play and my awesome dog take up a lot of my time but there are days more important than me when I just have to sit down, log in and type.

I had my mother in my life for 30 years. I had my father in my life for 40 years. You'd think with having 70 years of parenting, I'd be a lot wiser than I am. My parents would get a kick out of that. Mostly because they'd wonder where I got that kind of humour. Yes, I wonder...

As far back as I can remember I was stuck to my dad's heels. We didn't need a puppy. I went everywhere with him. I did everything with him. I just loved being with him. I loved working with him no matter what grunt jobs he gave me. 

Dad and I had a relationship where everything was just a "given". The mutual love and appreciation was just there and was just understood. My heart didn't need "I love you's". I didn't need to hear "thank you's". My dad would give me a wink. And that made everything ok.

If you overheard a conversation between dad and I,  you would likely be shocked. People would ask me, "Didn't that hurt your feelings?" and I would answer, "Did what hurt my feelings?" You just had to be in the relationship to truly understand it. It was child-parent love at it's finest. In my opinion. Although I'm sure some therapist somewhere would insist the relationship needed more hugs and kisses. To that my dad would say, "You oughtta get your head examined" and we would laugh. No. LAUGH!

When mom died, I tried to be there for my dad. Living two hours away, I couldn't just drop everything and show up on dad's doorstep to help. After a year of almost every weekend four-hour round trips and some memorable father-daughter weekends, I quit my job, sold my home and moved back to my childhood home to try to give dad more quality in his life in his golden years. He was 70 at the time and had a few health issues. He just needed a little help with the grunt work. haha

The memories of the last ten years I spent with my father are deeply etched in my heart. The hard work we both put in every day. The conversations (the good, the bad and the ugly). The ballgames (I'd fall asleep). The yearly strawberry pickin'. ("You're sucking the straw, pops!") My cooking (not quite like mom's) Mom would say "Naturally". The yard work ("Oh, what did you do today?"). The much-needed naps ("You're not really sleeping"). The outings. The cheap, greasy breakfasts and A&W coupon lunches.The trips to the doctors and specialists. The diagnosis and prognosis. The "making the best of every day" because life is so short you never know when your number is up. So much love captured in my heart to keep me going now without him.

One of the funniest things my dad said to me while out in public is something I share with everyone because it made us laugh then and it still makes me laugh. My dad and I were at the hardware store and needed the assistance of the department clerk. After dad informed the guy what we needed, the clerk said, "If you and the lady will just follow me...". My dad caught the guy off guard and cut him off in mid-sentence to tell him bluntly, "That's no lady. That's my daughter." I laughed so hard because my dad cut me up so unexpectedly but even more so because the look on the clerk's face was one of complete shock - and it. was. priceless. The clerk didn't know what to do or say. Of course my dad didn't laugh. Oh no, he was too cool for that. Old school cool. That was my dad.

And so on this very special day, I will celebrate my pops just like the rest of you do with your dads but my day will be filled with only the memories. What I wouldn't do to hear "What's for breakfast?" I will visit dad at his "condo", pick up chicken & chips, tinker in his garage and enjoy a cold beer with dad out in his garden.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, POP! I miss you more than I miss being a lady.

Things my dad use to say and most of them I didn't understand until I was an adult. And then there were some that I just had to ask him what they meant.

"To make you ask questions"

"Swivel Hips" or "Snot Box"

"You have more money than brains"

"Blacker than Toby's ass"

"One (bird) in the hand is worth two in the bush!"

"Not now but right now"

"Get the lead out"

"A fool and his money are soon parted"

"Poon Tang"

"You're closer to the ground than I am"

"That's no lady. That's my daughter."

No, I miss you Molsonly, Dad!

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