Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Big Daddy.

Today is my father in law's birthday, he would have been 82. Sadly we lost him on July 31st after a brief, 

(blessedly) but valiant battle with lung cancer.

I've been remembering all the special occasions that we've celebrated as a family since he became my father in law in 1981. Wow, that's a long time, a lot of birthdays.

I'm remembering his dry sarcastic wit, his love of a good pun and the anticipation on his face as he'd wait for you to *get* it.

The first time we stayed with them  was in the summer of 1980, I had known Scott's parents from a distance and from Sea Cadets for several years. This would  however be the first real *sit down* and visit.

I was nervous and those who knew me back then can attest to the fact that I was shy. Really I was, I hadn't come into my own yet and was terrified that they would figure out we were having S E X. Real S E X. 

The first afternoon we were sitting out on the deck,it was as hot as Hades and there were bajillion wasps buzzing around. I can't remember the whole conversation but I actually opened my mouth and made a smart arsed remark. It just came out, like a belch.

Dave looked at me, looked at his watch and said,  "The bus leaves from downtown at 1:30."

I looked him right in the eye and replied, "You'd best hurry then if you're going to catch it."

That was the defining moment in our new budding relationship. After that it was every one for themselves. The barbs and cracks, the puns the bullshit, it all flowed freely.

One of the last times I saw Dave I took him a full turkey dinner. It was screaming hot, he was ill and hadn't been out of bed much in the two previous days. I figured what the Hell, lets take it, we'll all eat, if Dave can't no biggie.

He ate a big plate, I was surprised and very happy. While we were waiting for the food to heat up, we were talking and laughing, he was engaged and not feeling too bad. 

He pipes up, "So Laurie you're going to feed me dinner eh?"

"Yes Dave a turkey dinner."

"Will you chew it up and spit it in my mouth?"

"Sure thing." "You want me to spit on a spoon first, or directly into your mouth?"

Scott asked me if I got to *talk* to his Dad, to say goodbye. I told Scott that Dave eating my supper and being sarcastic was our goodbye.

That about sums us up. I miss him and feel very rickety knowing he isn't at the end of a two hour drive. Tonight there's a super moon and I know he'll be looking down on us. 

 I'd like to think he'll be benevolent and smiling, although he'll probably be thinking, "When the heck are they going to mow that back 40?"

So Happy Birthday Big Daddy, in the words of Maxwell Smart, "You missed it by that much!"