Do you ever have a moment where one little thing triggers a million memories? Last night, I was checking my alarm station and volume, and the honky-tonk song on the radio stopped me dead in my tracks. I have no idea what song it was, but the memories came flooding back.
My dad had a waterbed, which I thought was the coolest thing. I loved to make it slosh and sleep on that bed. He had a clock radio, and I would push the snooze button for 59 minutes of musical enjoyment. It was always on a country station, playing these old honky tonk songs.
He was a soccer referee on the weekends. We would go out to the fields for my games and his. After I played, he would buy be blow pops and gatorade, and I would sit in the shade watching him, and dream of the day when I could be a referee just like him.
He had pink walls in his living room. And a little tiny Christmas tree that stayed up way past Christmas day.
He would take me on star walks and teach me all about Orion and his belt, the Big and Little Dipper, and the planets.
One time it snowed, and I remember the powdery white drifts that reached past my waist. We didn’t have any mittens at his house, so we just used socks. When we got too cold, he would put them in the dryer for us, and out we would go again.
I could always count on a trip to Stop ‘N Go for peppermint patties. We called them medicine, and I would fake a cough to convice him I needed the special medicine.
He loved to read, and so did I. We loved to go to the Bookstop where I would devour at least half of my new Baby Sitter’s Club book while he browsed.
Sometimes he would make us popcorn and milkshakes for dinner.
I learned how to do laundry while staying with him one summer. That was the summer I learned to rollerblade, went to YMCA day camp, and ate a Mazzio’s pizza on a regular basis.
Every year we went to Bennigans, just the two of us, for my birthday dinner.
We had some lost years. Years where we didn’t talk and didn’t see each other. Now he lives in Australia with his wife and new baby daughter, my sister. I see him once a year, and we talk once a week.
I won’t lie-there are times when I feel like I grew up without a dad.
But then something will happen like last night-something will trigger all of these memories of him. It made me so happy to think about all these things that I hadn’t thought about for years. I am so thankful for the memories I have. I am thankful that after the lost years, we talk again. I am so happy for him that he has another daughter to create memories with.
I love my dad.