My father passed away Monday morning. Having suffered through chemo and radiation treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a very aggressive cancer, he died of heart failure. I am finally crying for the first time today. I feel relief for him, and hope that he has found peace.
He was my inspiration. A physicist with premature grey and then white hair, it was rather like being raised by Einstein. So, when my four sisters and I learned that our father had passed, we compiled this list of the odd, quirky and fun things he did. These are the things that we remember about our father.
I waited each night for Dad to come home, he’d always greet me at the driveway.
Dad modeled parenting skills that I use today – spend time with your kids –if it works, use it and have fun, who cares what it looks like.
Dad ran with me in his business clothes during one cross-country practice when I needed encouragement.
In his funny voice, he’d mimic Mary’s basketball coach “Pass the ball harder next time.” The next pass smacked into the wall and he would crack up echoing the coach “not that hard.” He was so proud of Mary.
He waited in rollercoaster lines for hours. He would talk about physics and I had no idea what he was talking about, but somehow it didn’t matter.
Dad did donuts in parking lots on snowy days when mom wasn’t in the car.
He took us fishing at midnight because that is when the fish were biting.
Dad cut the top off a tree in the front lawn for use as our Christmas tree. There in the front lawn was the stub of a pine tree. The neighbors immaculately trimmed lawns adjacent. He then stuffed the whole Christmas tree in the fireplace and Mom screamed “Louis” while flames engulfed the mantle.
He calculated the cost of heating fuel required to heat a bedroom closet that was left open.
Dad made an entire set of Lincoln Logs, in the basement. He made some lengths that couldn’t be purchased. I literally had the best set.
Dad made new wooden doll beds for us one Christmas on his lathe. He stayed up all night building them.
He played Nertz, spades and other card games with us for hours on the living room rug. He never seemed to get bored playing games.
Dad took me to chess club with him on Friday nights.
He made us bike helmets out of hockey helmets — I was so embarrassed by them as a child.
Dad calibrated the cadence of each of our bikes gears and glued cards with the numbers on our bikes, so that we knew which gear to shift in when he told us to shift.
He took us on 20-mile bike rides until we were exhausted and he had to bike home to get the car and haul our bikes and us home.
Dad ate my horrible cooking while I was learning how to cook. I believed for years that he liked burned food.
Dad said some things that brought me through tough times. 1) If you work as hard at getting a job as you would at the job, then you will get a job. 2) Keep 6 months of bill money in the bank. – that one saved my bacon a few times.
Dad prayed when it got tough.
In loving memory of my father. May his soul find peace and comfort.
Please send your own Dadisms. I’d love to read them.