You know those coffee mugs that say "World's Greatest Dad" that was my Dad...
My dad and I always had a great relationship, I was the light of his life and then the boys came along and they were too. He loved us more then anything in the world.
I have so many great memories of him and things we did together, our season tickets for the Express, building shutters in the basement and out in the shop, family vacations, going to the dump to watch the black bears (red necks you bet!), going to Earla's for treats, calming him down on my wedding day just before we walked down the isle, seeing how much he loved my boys, our talks in the shop or the garage, and thousands more!
Then in 2007, I begged Dad to go get help for his drinking because I was scared it was going to kill him. I can still remember telling him that if he didn't get help that I couldn't be around him and I couldn't let the boys be around him because it was killing me to watch what he was doing to himself. He told me he didn't need help and I walked out of his apartment heartbroken on Jan. 3 and did not talk to him again until May 18 when I was told how sick he was. I called Mom and we went down to see him. I took one look at him realized that the next couple of months would be the last I would spend with him but they were also some of the best memories I have of us together.
At the first of the summer I lost a job I LOVED...I was so upset. Now I thank God everyday that I had those 4 months to spend with Dad and I spent everyday with him. There were several trips and stays at the hospital, Dad always making me promise to take him home because he didn't want to die in the hospital and everytime I brought him home.
We talked about everything...I mean everything. Yes it was very hard to watch how sick he was and to see him in all that pain but it gave us time to tell each other everything we wanted to say to each other.
On Thanksgiving Day, he was really bad, he was laying in his bed and I got up beside him. He told me that he thanked God everyday I was his daughter and that he loved me more then anything. I told him what a great Dad he was and how lucky I was to have him. Then he asked if I was going to be ok. I asked "OK what do you mean?" He said "without me?" He said that he was in so much pain and knew that he was dying but was worried because I had never had to deal with anything like that and he didn't know if I was strong enough. I sat there beside him knowing full well the pain he was in and holding his hand I lied to him and said "It will be the hardest thing in the world, but I can do it, you don't have to fight just for me."
On Thursday of that week he had a doctor's appointment and everything was the same and when I asked the doctor if he thought it would be ok if I went to Moncton on Saturday night he said, "oh yes, just have someone look in on him" So that was the plan. I waited until 7pm to go down to Moncton to meet up with some friends. I stopped in at Dad's got all his meds for him and got him something to eat, he was in bed so I sat there talking to him telling him that I would stay home and he said "No go...but when do you think you'll be home?" I told him I'd be home around 2 on Sunday.
I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him I loved him and that I would see him tomorrow. I walked down the stairs to leave and he said "hey...do you know how much I love you?" I answered "I sure do! Love you too!" Then he said "remember I'll be watching you!" I laughed and said "you don't need to remember I'm perfect!!!" He laughed.
At 12:17 pm the next day I received a call from Dad's friend, she had gone in to check on him for me and he had passed away. To this day, I believe he wanted me to go because he didn't want me to be the one who found him. I thank God for that too, I don't know that I could have handled that.
It will be 4 years this October and I still find myself thinking "I gotta call Dad and tell him that!" Or at the grocery store I'll put Cranberry Juice in the cart (we hate cranberry juice) but when Dad was sick that is all he drank. I still think about him a thousand times a day. I think how much he would love Cayden and enjoy him!
And I thank him everyday for the last gift I think he gave me...I think he knew I was lying and knew I needed a father in my life...I don't think it was just a concidence that day he passed away was the day I found out that Mom and Garrie were engaged. So I have been twice blessed to have a great Dad and a wonderful Stepdad!
I'm so lucky to have Garrie...he is such a good man, he loves Mom so much and makes her so happy, he loves my boys and now is very taken with his new Great Grandson Cayden (who might have him wrapped around his finger), he is wonderful to Grampie and he loves me.
What a lucky girl to have been blessed with 2 total different but equally great and wonderful Dads!
So this Father's Day you won't see me at the Keswick Graveyard, looking at Dad's headstone...don't get me wrong I do go there to clean it off after they mow the grass but it's not to visit him because he is not there. He is in my heart every minute of everyday, he's with me all the time. This Father's Day I will be spending it with my Stepdad and thinking how lucky I am to have him. And I know Dad will be watching and smiling!