The day after my birthday is always rough on me. My father passed away of a heart attack at age 50, on August 19, 1986. I had just turned 12 years old. It’s been 28 years now, and this day still has a feeling of genuine heaviness. I try not to dwell on it, but there is no forgetting.

Yet, why should I forget? He deserves to be remembered, even if it causes me pain. His life was cut short, and my ability to form an adult relationship with him was obliterated. The only thing I have left of him is pictures, memories, and stories.

– Dad liked to garden. We always had plenty of tomatoes and green peppers during the summer months.

– He loved Ziggy.

– He would sit on the front porch with his feet up on the rail. I would ride by on my bike and see his toes.

– He once brought home peppermint ice cream, and my mom sent him back to the store to get something else.

– He and I would stay up and watch “Star Search.”

– My dad never, ever laid a hand on me. Wait till your mother got home was his motto.

– He was very comfortable being by himself. The Worlds Greatest Introvert.

– He was very smart.


– He made great chocolate milk.

– I loved listening to him sing at church. He had a deep baritone.

– I know I have said this before, but he would blame his flatulence on a tiny elephant under the coffee table. (Yes, I looked every time.)

I love you dad, and I miss you. Especially today. I know that you are there, and that you visit me when you can.

no nappy, daddy 001