I wish you didn’t have to go. We were having such a good time. There was so much more to say, more to do, more to think about.
Remember that time?…that’s what we used to do. We told the same stories so many times we told them in shorthand. “Tag the batter!” “John Rilling birdies first extra hole!” “Do you think she would have listened to me?” Those were our tag lines. That’s all. Just those. And then we would look at each other and smile. We understood. No one else needed to.
Now, your shorthand is all around. Not you, but things that remind me of you…
- the painting of the LS4, the e-scow you raced on lake Springfield. I guess LS stands for Lake Springfield.That never occurred to me before.
- the life sized model of the Stroke Maxer. Amazing that a guy with your golf swing got into the golf teaching tools business.
- the control boxes, everything with its on/off setting, numbered and activated at the proper time. Lights on. News on. Sprinklers on. TV on. Why bother with a dial or a switch when you could pre-program?
How it delighted you to problem solve and manage. Then there’s
- the Starbucks cup tucked under the seat of the car.
- your reading glasses, so grimy no one could possibly see through them.
- your dog and his cookie ball. I can still hear you calling him to get it so you can feed him breakfast.
These were your day-to-day.
As I sift through the things that call me to remember, my eyes fall to the tiny little cup, shiny and gold that rests on your desk. A miniature trophy that I bought you at a gift shop in Green Lake, Wisconsin. You were a big shot, winning lots of races on Lake Springfield, but you finished way back in the pack at the Green Lakes regatta. I still remember picking out that little gem. I didn’t want you to go home empty handed. I couldn’t have been more than 9 or 10 years old.
And now here it sits. You have kept it all these years. My heart to yours. A little girl’s attempt to make her Daddy’s heart happy.
Perhaps that’s all any of us ever want to do…make Daddy’s heart happy.
Your heart is happy now. Don’t ask me how. Somehow I just know.
I love you, Dad.