Cinfulcinnamon's Blog

~~~Remembering My Dad~~~

Posted on: August 17, 2010

     It is absolutely no secret that I idolized my Father.  He was a hero among men to me, and no one will ever come close to him.  I realize that not everyone has a good relationship with their Dad.  But I did.  He taught me so much without ever saying a word.  He was strong, and tough and yet gentle in his own way.  He didn’t care much for kids, although he loved watching them.  That is as long as he didn’t have to touch them.  He was quick to discipline and slow to praise.  In fact, sometimes it seemed that if he didn’t say anything in the way of a lecture on things; that was how you knew you’d done something right.  He laughed easily, loved animals; especially horses, and he loved his family.  And Friday, August 20, he will be gone 4 years. 

     It still hurts almost as bad today, as it did the morning he died.  I missed being there by about 15 minutes.  I was racing across town when I got the call from my sister that he was dying, but as I pulled into the driveway of their home, I already knew I was too late.  I sat with him and held his hand while the heat left his body almost until the hearse came to take him away.

     As the oldest, I spoke at his funeral.  And I remember saying that Dad would almost have preferred to die any other time of the year except for this time.  The tomatoes would be ripe now in Ohio.  The corn plentiful at the roadside stands and the Indiana melons at their peak.  That was his favorite meal in the summer.  He’d eat tomatoes, corn and cantaloupe three times a day.  Maybe with the occasional side of bacon or a few saltine crackers.  The fact that he hadn’t been able to enjoy that simple meal the summer of his death gives me the worst pang of pain in my heart.  He was a man of simple pleasures and eating was one of his favorite things.  That and a cold beer.  Didn’t really matter the brand…just had to be cold.  He preferred to drink it out of a small glass….hated aluminum cans.  And I loved to drink beer with him.  We’d been asked to leave a few bars in our day.  And that was OK with me.  I boycott H.H.Gregg because they were rude to my Dad one time.  And all he wanted to do was buy a VCR.  When he told me the story of how the salespeople had treated him like a dottering old fool, I didn’t say anything at the time.  But when I left his house guess where I went.  And I made one of the biggest scenes in my life.  I never told Dad that I had done that, and he was really surprised when he got that gift certificate in the mail from that store.  He liked free things.  And he liked old things.  And fixing things up and re-selling them.  I tell you the man could make money on anything.  To watch him at a flea market or a yard sale was to be in the presence of greatness.  He made haggling on price an art form.  And he the Performance Artist of all time.

     Throughout his life, he would go to the doctor from time to time to have his vocal chords scraped of nodules.  We used to joke around the house and say that it was the most quiet and peaceful times.  He would laugh and “yell” at us on his writing pad.  Those were funny times.  One Christmas, he came home from driving all week; you see he was an over the road driver, and he had his vocal chords scraped and couldn’t talk.  But he took me into the back room to ask me to wrap the present he had gotten my Mom.  When he pulled it out of the bag, I almost fainted.  It was the most butt-ugly lime green patent leather purse with a chain shoulder strap that I had ever seen.  Even at 13 years old I knew my Mom was gonna hate it.  But he was so sincere when he wrote on his little pad that I should wrap it extra special.  I did while he went back to the kitchen to finish breakfast.  And I cried while I did it.  Because he wanted to get my Mom something special.  And because he had taste for CRAP…LOL.  I went to my Mom on the side, and explained how much Dad seemed to like the purse and asked her if she could pretend to like it…and not throw up on it.  She did.  But never once did I see that purse come out of the closet.  And that was a good thing.  I did see it one more time though.  On the purse rack at the Goodwill.  She was with me.  And I remember she thought the price they had on it was outrageous. 

     In March of 2006 they could no longer scrape the nodules.  They had become cancerous.  And they wanted to try radiation.  Dad went through 6 weeks of treatment.  He had all the bad stuff that went along with the radiation; the burns, redness, sore throat.  When it was over the doctors said that they had gotten it all and he just needed to go back from time to time to get his larynx checked.  The worse thing that came from the radiation was that Dad lost his sense of taste.  Everything tasted like metal.  And he seemed to lose all interest in everything else.  He loved to sing but could no longer do that.  We all tried bringing him different things to see if maybe he could taste it.  But he couldn’t.  For some reason, the only thing he seemed to enjoy was hot chocolate.  So Mom and my sister made him lots of it.

     He went in for a 6 week check up.  Not only was the cancer back, but it had totally engulfed his larynx.  It would have to come out.  They scheduled the operation for May 20th.  He went to lunch with me a couple of days before the surgery and asked me what I thought about the operation.  I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that he shouldn’t do it.  Anything else but getting cut from ear to ear.  But he seemed to want to hear that he was right in trusting his doctors.  And so I told him that if he felt confident in them, then I would be there with him to learn how to talk with that microphone thingy.  And he smiled and we left it like that.  You will have to read up on the surgery, I can’t bear to talk about how much pain he was in when he came out of it, or how much care he needed at home.  My sister was his primary care giver and she deserves a medal for everything.  I was there when I could be, but it gave me too much physical pain to be with him as much as I wanted to be.

     He died 3 months to the day of the surgery.  He never got to recover.  Never got to heal.  If you’ve ever heard the song “In the Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics; that pretty much sums up what I want to say.  I wrote my Dad a letter and gave it to him about a week before he died.  But he was on so much pain medicine that he slept most of the time.  After they had opened him up something happened and a fast-moving cancer invaded his body and took my Father away.  I don’t think he got to read all of the letter, so I put it in the suit pocket of his jacket at the funeral home.  But I know he knows how I feel.  He was a trucker, a farmer, a biker, a Grandpa, and my Dad.  And he was my Hero.

peace,

Cinnamon

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8 Responses to "~~~Remembering My Dad~~~"

This brought a tear to my eye. Especially about the tomatoes and the cold beer. It makes me want to hug my dad.

So true. I firmly believe that life isn’t about what you achieve but the connection you make with others.

Following from Blog Frog

You have a beneficial Blog here Mate. Love your articles incredibly informative, Please hold up the excellent work.

Hey sis,my only words to you from me,thanks

Well, it’s about time !!! Love ya

Hi there!
So, I just happened to click on your blog icon on the Labor Day Social BBQ and then I scrolled down and this particular post caught my eye. I lost both my parents to Carbon Monoxide poisoning in October 2007 so I know exactly what you are talking about. The birthdays, anniversaries and other special days are really the hardest. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday and that makes it hurt all the more. While I didn’t get so say goodbye to my parents, death is death and grieving and grieving. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Take care!

Thank you and I’m sorry for your loss as well.

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Goofy Me

I am: an Air Force vet, Mom, sister, friend, Lifestyler, and all-around smartass with a heart of gold. I have lived all over the far East and learned many things about people and cooking, art and true value. I like to share my experience with the rest of the world. I will be the most loyal friend or most annoying enemy you've ever known. Honest to a fault. My life has not always been easy, but it has never ever been boring.

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