Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hands like sandpaper

Three years ago this week I spoke to my Dad for the last time. I will never forget walking into the Emergency room into his room and going around that curtain to see him sitting there, Mom, as always, right by his side. His face lit up and a smile spread across his face and he said "Hey Bud! Whatcha doin here?" Like it never would have occurred to him that I would leave work early and drive like a maniac to see him. "Oh I dunno Dad, I was bored at work today so thought I'd drive out and see if you get orange jello tonight, you know it's my favorite" I replied. Then we both grinned and I saw that twinkle in his eye.

About two hours later in a hospital room the morphine kicked in and he stopped talking to us. He lived for another three days, but never woke back up. So orange jello was the last thing I spoke to my Dad about.

I miss him so much some days it physically hurts. Buying an older house Brad and I both commented we wished he could be here to tell us what to look out for, what to check before moving in. And when I lost my job, everything he taught me went thru my head and pushed me to do everything I could to get another job quickly. I miss his advise, which he was always ready to give. I miss his crazy stories. I miss the way he could fix anything at all. I miss driving down the road to the house and seeing him mowing the field in his grey shorts, wife beater, straw hat, and white knee socks. (Gotta watch the Ticks Jen! Those suckers will getcha!) But most days I miss his hands. His hands were like sandpaper, so rough they would scratch you, yet in them was everything he ever taught me and everything he believed in. Life is not handed to you, you have to work hard to earn it. Count your blessings. And no matter what, it could always, always be worse.

It's hard to believe it's been three years since I've held those hands or seen the twinkle in his eye. But I do know that he still pushes me everyday to try, to do the best that I can do, and to LIVE my life to the fullest.

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