Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My daddy.........

Of course- I hadn't called him my 'daddy' since I was a little girl. But somehow, since he died, that term seems to ring in my head- over and over and over. Because he was, in fact, my daddy. He was not a sentimental man, in fact he was kind of rough or abrasive, very firm and strict, after all- he was a Marine. He had no time for any non-sense. That is until he got just a bit older and we (my two much much older than me siblings and myself) began to produce grandbabies. The grandbabies made him softer. And the more we had, the softer he seemed to get. I never would have guessed him to be a 'baby lover', but as far as his grandbabies were concerned- he sure was.
Today is his birthday- and I miss him. And I so wish that he wouldn't have had to leave when he did- it's been almost 8 years now. But I do trust God's plan- that is not the point or the direction here. It's just that today is his birthday- and I miss him. That's all. And the three little people in my life miss him too. Now, they don't even know that they miss him. How could they- they only really know 'of' him. But I know that they miss him, because I did know him, and they are really missing out by not having him in their life. Allyson was only 13 months old when he died- so she knew him and loved him, but Ohhhh, how he loved her! After he died, it was so hard to even think about having another child- because I knew that he would never get to be their grandpa on this earth. But Emily talks about him like she 'knows' him. I imagine he got to snuggle her in heaven before sending her down. And Sam- strange as it seems as he is brilliantly blonde and brown eyed- really does seem to resemble him.

There are times when he smiles a small crooked smile that I almost wonder that Dad is not in the room with us- right then and there. Not to mention that he is so super duper mischevious, that it makes me think how much my dad would have found enjoyment in this little man. Samuel Ethan Dale- Dale was my dad's name. I think that is nice.

As I mentioned before- he so loved this little girl. I mean 'absolutely lit up when she came around, saved his cookies from his trays in the hospital for her, made goofy duck noises to see her giggle' kind of love. And the feeling was mutual. I wish he could still be here to see her grow. Thanks to this little one, there is a lipgloss kiss imprint on his headstone that won't wash off (placed there when she was four years old).

And then there is Emily. I just wish he could have got to experience Emily and her emilyness.

So that's that, today is my dad's birthday. And we miss him.


Ronda said...

I never knew your dad, but I miss him for you today. Nothing like a girl's daddy.

I pray the day has been kind to you.

Sharon said...

Oh, Mynde, I too wish you could've had your Daddy a while longer for then I would've had him too.

I so miss the big, strong handsome man whose skin turned bronze in the summer sun and whose hair bleached to blonde which made his eyes turn the color of the sky........whose hands could fix any problem I had by just holding onto mine and yet I knew would fight to the death(and it wouldn't have been his) anyone who threatened his home, wife or children in any way and that made me feel so safe and protected. I never saw weakness in him. The same hands which laced on my first pair of ice skates when I was 20 and scooped the snow off the pond out in the country, built a bonfire to keep me warm, and helped teach me to ice skate....he so loved to iceskate -- gathered wildflower bouquets for me in the spring and summer and brought me the starts of all the violets and wildflowers(dug up in the woods when he was mushroom hunting) I now have growing in the yard.

The man who the hospital staff always had to treat for flu symptoms (shivering, nausea & faintness) everytime I was in the hospital getting ready to give birth to one of you kids -- it always brought many smiles from the nurses, for as soon as you were born he was fine again & back to his old self. And, oh Mynde, you never saw him with you guys in the hospital -- the awe on his face as well as the fear that he might hurt you for those hands of his were so big and you guys were so little.....and his pride!!

You see, I figured out very early on that this mean, rough exterior he presented to the world was a cover for the gentle soul who lived inside......and that was the man I loved -- I was one of the few allowed to visit there.......the Marines taught them then that to show weakness made you vulnerable and that was simply not he was always 'strong'.

I'll never forget the look on his face when he saw you for the first time on your wedding day -- he was so proud of you.....he was with you when you got your little CRX and so proud that you were doing it all 'on your own' -- he respected your independence.

I never knew him to lie in his life and he didn't tolerate people who did -- he wouldn't share his time with people he didn't like and in retrospect, I think that is not a bad thing at all. He simply could not pretend to like someone he didn't...simply wouldn't do it -- a very honest man who could look at himself in the mirror and be happy with what he saw.

Yes, I see so much of him in Sam -- and there have been many times when that smile Sam has, that way of looking up through his eyebrows at me with a sideways grin.....his independence......his quick to flash impatience and temper.....his eagerness to always fix whatever he thinks has happened to 'Grandma' and to take care of me -- even the way Sam likes to hammer and build things -- and once in a while a phrase(Sam's 'no, no, NOOO' is one) or word or some sort of a knowing look comes out of that little boy that just simply makes me feel that he's your Dad all over again.

I'm with you -- there are sure times when there's no doubt in my mind that your Dad is there in the room with us and the longer I'm here, the more I realize that is sooo possible.

So, Happy Birthday Mr. Dale -- you are loved and missed!!


Rebecca said...

Girlie I know it's been a rough week for you anyway with the airshow craziness. I am glad you took time out to put down in words just how much your Dad means to you and your family. Even though I never got a chance to know him I know he had to be special...he made you my friend

Ronda said...

What a beautiful gift you have given your mom, and another beautiful gift she gave back to you. Blogging is awesome, isn't it?