The last time I spent time with my Dad, before the end, was around June 5, 2011. He had just recovered from surgery, and I wanted to see him and spend a couple of days with him. We went to Chicago Street Deli in Shawnee, Oklahoma, I took a huge coffee to go. He drove us to the part of Shawnee that had the country club and newer developments. We used to do that every Saturday the last time I lived in Shawnee (around 2000-2003). We wouldn’t talk much, just enjoy each other’s company as he pointed out if someone we knew still lived in a house. We always made fun of one house that had a garish orange color. Then we drove back to the house where I grew up. I didn’t know at the time it would be the last time I spent time with Dad when he was well, but it will always be one of my most favorite memories of him.
My Dad died in May 2012, just a few short months before my daughter, his first granddaughter, was born. She will only ever know him from pictures, videos, and stories. But I think she’ll appreciate knowing that he knew about her, and he’d already given me important reassurance and advice. That meant a lot, because he spent 35+ years of his life as a pediatrician.
Today, I took a drive with my wife and daughter. Father’s Day will always be a little sad, but I’m grateful that I am a Dad, too, and hopefully one day, my daughter will talk about the fun things she did with her father when she was young.
I miss you, Pop. Happy Father’s Day.