Those of you who know me may be a bit confused by the title of this post, because my dad is still here.
Part of the reason for the huge funk I have been in recently is that dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few months ago. It is very hard news for a daddy's girl to take.
I find that often, I grieve his loss already, even though he is still here. I grieve the fact that I never know from day to day if I can have a decent conversation with him. I grieve the things he's always done - the things that make Daddy who he is - that he can't do anymore.
But today, I choose to remember daddy like I've always known him, before the disease starting chipping away at him.
I remember the daddy who called me "Doodle" and "Pistol" when I was a little girl, and the way he introduced me to other people as "The Boss."
I remember the daddy who replaced one recliner after another because I squeezed in beside him in them so often that I worked the arms loose.
I remember the daddy who walked to Ingle's every night for a cup of coffee, and let me get a creme horn from the bakery.
I remember the daddy who took me to McDonald's for an ice cream cone, and waited while I played on the playground.
I remember the daddy who always made fried potatoes and fireplace cornbread when he had to cook dinner.
I remember the daddy that couldn't stand to see anyone cry.
I remember the daddy that stopped smoking when I asked him to.
I remember the daddy that started fires with gasoline.
I remember the daddy who always had his shaving brush and a bottle of Old Spice on top of his medicine cabinet.
I remember the way my daddy whistled when he was coming in from the garage for dinner.
I remember the daddy who constantly cut wood and gave it away (with delivery!) for free to anyone who needed it.
I remember the daddy who helped liberate my Barbie's from their plastic ties when ever I got a new one, which was often because I was spoiled rotten. (just ask my sister)
I remember the daddy who doesn't like to pray out loud, but occasionally will and, when he does, it is the same every time.
I remember the daddy who scared my boyfriends.
I remember the daddy that many of my girlfriends wished was their dad.
I remember the daddy who told me that Randy Travis singing sounded like pig squealing.
I remember the daddy that adores his grandchildren.
I remember the daddy that means "Do you need money?" when he asks, "Do you need anything?"
I have been blessed with an amazing earthly father, and I am thankful that my Heavenly Father put him in my life. I could go on for days with the wonderful memories I have of him. I've shared a few here, but the rest of my memories I'll tuck quietly in my heart to remember on the days that my daddy doesn't.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy.