I had a very special relationship with my dad, he was my hero and my heart. His words of discipline and teachings would ring out in my mind, with everything that I did. It always will. His influence is powerful.
I have precious memories of dancing with him while standing on his feet. He always held me up.
Jackie and I would wait patiently to take his boots off after a long and hard day at work. It was what I cherished. Anything to take care of him.
After our baths, I'd wait my turn as he would vigorously dry our hair with his hands! Sometimes it would hurt! :D But that didn't matter, those were special times.
In the spur of the moment, our family would take camping trips, we'd have rare but special dinners out, nightly TV together, and fun nights playing board games.
He taught us how to fish and would help put the cheese on the end of the hook.
He taught us to drive a stick shift and when I almost drove us into a ditch, he made sure I knew to never do that again!
"Keep it twix the ditches", is what he always said as we walked out the door.
He was the toughest guy I knew but also, the most sensitive. He would always rescue birds that had fallen from the nest, and made beautiful bird feeders and fed many other critters.
I've seen him cry many times, his heart was pure.
Many nights he would grab his guitar and sing for us. My favorite was, 'there's a hole in the bottom of the sea'. And any of his Hank William's songs.
He taught me how to play the spoons and gave me a harmonica.
He made us grilled cheese sandwiches, corn fritters, waffles and peanut brittle.
I can clearly remember him teaching me how to wrap the kindling with newspaper, to build a fire. I loved doing that!
He taught us how to maintain a savings account early on and then a checking account when he thought we were ready. I failed a few times but ultimately learned and became the responsible young woman that he mentored.
We would make dagwood-like sandwiches together and I would pour his RC Cola for him. He liked the ice to be filled to the very top and then we'd watch football together, just the two of us.
I had the opportunity to work with my dad at his stair shop. Lloyd's Stairs was such a huge success. He was beloved by all of the contractors and executives of local home builders.
Nobody was a stranger in his mind, he wanted a connection with everyone.
He'd always have a gift for them and ANYONE in the vicinity, whether it was a Lloyd's Stairs truckers cap, pen or carpenters pencils; he never went to a jobsite empty handed.
Watching him physically outdo every young man that worked for him, was always astonishing. He beat them in speed, strength and quality.
Sometimes they would finish before him but their end result was far less impressive. He's a legend in so many minds.
I love the smell of sawdust, it reminds me of him.
I could go on forever, I have a million stories.
My heart is broken, but not just today, it's been broken for many years.
I've been unable to have the relationship with him that we both wanted because I developed a brain injury.
It's been hard for all of us, and the only thing I have hoped for was to get better before my mom and dad passed away so that I could do things for them again, and they would feel happy and proud.
My wish has fallen short, but I know that he knew how much I loved and respected him.
My dad was my hero, my Elvis, and my heart.
Rest peacefully daddy, I love you with all of my heart, always and forever.
~ Dini ~