Daily Archives: June 15, 2008

Dear Dad

When you returned home from your tour of duty during the war, Mom tells me I didn’t recognize you. The story goes that one morning I was on a wobbly chair in the kitchen grabbing Cheerios out of a cabinet I couldn’t reach when I saw him. Later I asked Mom who that strange man was.
You made sure that changed.
You tried the “play catch” thing, but when the ball smacked me in the face, that ended. 🙂
You turned a huge fridge box into a playhouse. You introduced me to air guitars and Steve Miller’s Fly Like an Eagle and Swingtown. You told funny stories about outhouses and bears and Minnesota nights. You made me go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. You worked hard all the time so we could make ends meet. That time, when I was 17 and you left me at home and I had a party and then thought I cleaned everything up but you found the strawberry wine cooler top, you held me accountable (and then some). You taught me to make the best rolls in the world, but they still don’t come close to yours. You showed us slides of you on an elephant in Southeast Asia and told us stories abut crazy drivers and evolution. Men going into the jungle and coming back as monkeys, NOT the other way around. When I got a ticket the first day driving, didn’t pay it, had a warrant issued for my arrest AND then came home with the highway patrol following lights on, you came outside looking ready to kill and then made the officers explain what was going on and then convinced them to let me clear things up Monday, and you did it all with quiet assurance, even though you’d been laid off that day in the first tech bubble burst. You let me make you and Mom breakfast in bed even though I was way too young to be using the griddle. You didn’t yell that time I caught the new carpet on fire lighting candles for y’alls anniversary. You stuck by my side through some of the hardest times in my life, but if those hard times were brought by my own bad choices, you didn’t let me off the hook. You didn’t pick up the pieces, but you held my hand while I did, and I’m a better person for it.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
Papa and Katie