Friday, July 15, 2011

My Dad

Haley never knew her other Grandpa, my Dad.  He died the year before she was born.

I can hardly believe that that was over fourteen years ago. 

My Dad would have loved Haley.  He loved her sister very much.  He really had a soft spot for little kids, but especially girls.  When we called and told him that Haley's Big Sis was born he said "Thanks for having a girl."

Haley reminds me of my Dad every day.  Not just because she was born shortly after he left us, but because she is a lot like him.  When Haley was born I looked over at her while the nurses were doing their tests on her. For a moment I saw my Dad in her face. She looked just like him.

My Dad was a motor head.  He loved cars and trucks and motorcycles and boats; anything with a motor and a tailpipe.  I remember when Haley was really little she would turn her head to the sound of a motor.  If a motorcycle went by outside she paid attention.  I don't remember if he cared much for trains, but if he saw how much she loves them I bet he would have liked them too. 

She got that from her other Grandpa.

There are many ways that Haley reminds me of my Dad.  She has looks and mannerisms that are very similar.  It's funny that although she does repeat herself a lot, she does have a tendency to not repeat herself when you want her to.  If I ask her a question and I don't hear the answer she will not say it again.  My Dad did that.

My Dad was cool.  I mean "Fonzie" cool.  His look was very much from the '50's.  He had curly hair that he slicked back into a duck tail. Yes, that is where Haley gets her curly hair from.  He wore jeans and a white t-shirt pretty much exclusively.  He rolled a pack of cigarettes up in his t-shirt sleeve up until four months before he died. 

He stopped smoking then. 

It was too late though.  When the doctors gave him four months to live it seemed like he took them at their word.  He lived those last few months to the hilt though.  He took care of business and he put his life in order.  He stopped working and started having fun.  He was a different person.  Even though I know he was in pain he seemed to enjoy the time he had left.

I miss him.

I am thinking about him now because we are heading to Montana to see my family. I will see my father in my brother and my sister. I will probably also see him in their children. He would have loved to be around them.

Along the road to Montana a huge group of bikers were heading the other direction.  The cacophony of sound that came from their bikes made me think of my Dad. 

He would have loved it. 

From the backseat I heard Haley say "Ooooh. Wow."

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