Three years ago today, just about this time, I got the news that you were gone. I woke in the night last night thinking about you, wanting today not to arrive. I watched the clock turn to midnight and let the tears roll and remembered too late you comforting us when we woke with nightmares years ago. Don’t cry you’d say, you’ll get tears in your ears. So with tears in my ears I remember you.
I remember racing into the house after church in my Sunday dress to flop on the living room floor next to you as you read us all the color comics.
I remember playing horse on your back until you dropped in exhaustion.
I remember you tossing us one by one into the waves of Lake Michigan and us shouting in glee for you to do it again.
I remember you showing me the way to walk to kindergarten, us taking off from home with a box of Nilla wafers on our grand adventure.
I remember you teaching me to ride a two wheeled bike that was so big my feet only touched the pedels when they were at the top of their rotation.
I remember you falling asleep on the sofa after work and before dinner. When you began to snore we’d all giggle and say there was a moose loose in the house.
I remember you building a red canoe in the basement, and launching it on the lake.
I remember sledding down a big hill in a saucer with you.
I remember your patience as we all learned how to water ski, and when you taught us all to drive a stick shift car.
I remember the camping trips across America and getting out to read every last historical marker along the way.
I remember you repairing everything that ever broke. Sometimes more than once.
I remember riding the bus to school and passing you as you rode your bike to work.
I remember climbing sand dunes and mountains, and our walk down into the Grand Canyon, how you always wanted to see what was around the next corner.
I remember canoeing the Huron River all day with you, and many trips down the Rifle River as well.
I remember you humming tunelessly as you walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.
I remember you water-skiing that last July, having fun with your kids out on the lake.
I remember holding you after Mom died, and you telling me to stop or I’d make you cry.
I remember you flying all the way back up here ten days after Mom died to attend my father-in-law’s funeral, because I’d been there for you and you wanted to be here for me.
I remember your visit here at Thanksgiving that year and how small and alone you looked as you drove away after the weekend. I never saw you again.
I remember asking you what you wanted to do for Christmas that year and you saying you just wanted us to be together…like before.
I remember you.
Missing you today Dad. Loving you always.