I believe in memories. Memories last forever. My dad and I shared the same birthday and on our birthday we had his favorite, angel food cake (yuck!) I whined like a baby, threw myself on the floor like a toddler, stomped around the house like a spoiled brat and said some rude comments to my mom, out of ear shot of my dad of course, and guess what I still had for my birthday cake, angel food cake. Yuck!
My dad was a picker. He especially liked to pick on me. I believe he did this because I was his favorite. Aren’t the youngest always the favorites? Better yet, aren’t the youngest daughters always the favorites? I think so. My dad had the toughest job in the world, taking care of me. Now that I am older and have a kid of my own, I can appreciate my dad and his firm but steady hand. I remember my dad telling me to be home at ten PM on the weekends during my senior year of high school, I remember getting home at ten minutes till ten. He would have me wait outside because it wasn’t ten o’clock yet. I find it funny now, but it wasn’t so funny then, just annoying.
I remember driving by cemeteries and Dad asking, “I wonder how many people are dead in there?” and me, in the back seat, rolling my eyes and muttering, “Gee, I wonder.” Other times while driving he would make me crazy by getting on the ramps to the highway then getting right back off, then on, then off, around and around the loops we would go, until finally I would shout “Geez, enough already.” Thinking back I was lucky to have a dad like him. My friends always wanted to come to my house; my boyfriends spent more time with him than they did with me. Now that I just wrote that sentence a light bulb just went off inside my head. Yes, I believe I’m on to something there. Maybe he was more fun to be around than I was giving him credit for.
My dad passed away when he was fifty, I was twenty-one. I miss him and although he has been gone for eighteen years, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. Once in awhile, he makes his presence known by little things that happen around my house. For example, candy falling at my feet out of nowhere. You probably know the kind I’m talking about, the little white peppermints with the stars in the middle. Then in my memories I can picture him and the way he covered his mouth and did that silly giggle that only he had. It makes me smile and it makes me realize how special memories are. Now I think I’ll go bake an angel food cake. Yuck!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.