My Pa was 69 the day that he died. Earlier that week he had had his teeth cleaned, gotten a haircut, a massage and a colonoscopy. He had had his normal Friday night dinner out with my Ma, almost 48 years of dinner out every Friday night.
He dated my 16 year old Ma when he was 19 years old, back then it wasn’t such a big deal I guess. In his wallet was a picture of her from when she was 17 years old, on the back it said: my forever love. He also had photos of his kids from the day they were born, all beaten and worn, but cherished and loved. Ma said a few years ago when they bought him a new wallet she told him to toss them out, but he refused. Those things mattered most.
He had his faults, he was no saint, but he was truly the best father I ever had. He came to my concerts, my plays – sure Ma may have dragged him there, but he was there each and every time I looked for him in the audience. He was at my graduation, picked me up from a hospital once, took me to treatment once… he was my Pa.
I always got a hug when I’d come home and when I’d leave. I didn’t even initiate it, it was him.
At the church service we heard lots of funny stories about my Pa. People laughed and people cried. He was a character, and he gave me character. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his example leading the way. I’ll miss him.