My dad was the best.
I remember when I was a kid how with gloved hand he would take each bullhead off the hook so I wouldn’t get cut by their spiky fins.
I remember how he taught me to shoot a BB gun in our backyard.
I remember how he let me play in the stacks of tires in his shop and then give me money to go get a Mister Misty at Dairy Queen down the street.
I remember how he would drive me to church and Missionettes and youth group meetings every week in middle school.
I remember when he took me shopping to buy my first pinstriped suit for speech and debate class.
I remember him saying he was going to buy me that Dodge Charger for sale on Main Street then bringing home a Ford Maverick instead because he got it for the price of the tow bill and a new engine that he put in.
I remember opening my mailbox at college and finding a card from him with the note “Here’s a little mad money for you. Don’t tell your mom.” and 20 bucks inside.
I remember that he came to my college graduation but not my wedding 4 months later because my mom was too sick.
I remember the huge smile on his face when he came to my baptism when I was 23.
I remember his last call, when he said “Come see me,” but I didn’t hear the urgency in his voice so I bought a plane ticket to Palm Springs for 2 weeks later.
I don’t remember who called to tell me he’d died a week later but I do remember the darkness that followed.
I remember the turbulence on the puddle-jumper from Portland to Palm Springs and wishing it would just crash.
I remember listening to “Indifference” by Pearl Jam and wondering if the pain of losing him would ever go away.
I remember many more things about my dad, but most of all I remember that he loved me and he died far too young.
The prompt at NaPoWriMo today is to write an “I remember” poem.