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Some of what I said, and much of what I didn’t say at Dad’s Memorial.
I LOVED my Daddy when I was little, he could do no wrong. I can remember his love for me as a little girl, and I couldn’t wait to see him every other weekend... a fact that irked my Mother all her life ;-) because I “always” wanted to be with my Daddy.
Here are some of my memories:
Weekends and weekends at the zoo and Playland park and Breckenridge Park and Kiddie Park in SA ... click read more to the right...
Building a snow man on the ranch in Bandera, and pulling out more ticks after visits there.
Of course, hiking Enchanted rock as a kid and and adult.
Crossing the US west from TX toward CA when he “extended” his visitation rights when I was 10. On Pike’s peak, we got caught in a snowstorm, and he had to turn that ultra-long caddy around, halfway up a Pike’s Peak, in the middle of a blizzard, on a road as wide as as the car—it was a scary 50-point turn LOL
Dad spanked me one time as a child. He never once hit me in anger or otherwise.
He showed me and taught me so many amazing things in life (we used to take apart circuit boards); he taught me how to play Chess and pool, waterski on square pieces of plywood, and archery. Now, I teach my students chess and tell them how my Dad taught me when I was their age!
All the adventures he took me on: walking miles on railroad tracks to find treasures of rocks and spikes (we may have hitched a few rides), spelunking, roller coaster rides, hiking and camping all over Texas, hitchhiking with truckers with him in his army uniform so we’d get picked up by good people, riding his motorcycle up hills and all around without my mom knowing (except that one time we fell and rolled down the hill—stopping right in front of a prickly pear!) and all the good times we had when I was in Austin and after we got reacquainted as adults after 8 years of separation.
I remember seeing him for the first time in 8 years when I was 18 while I was staying with Meemaw and Pappaw in FTW; he flew from Korea to get me and take me back. It was weird, he was sleeping on the couch when I walked in. We didn’t know each other anymore.
I’m a scofflaw just like Dad. I jump fences, shimmy past “no trespassing signs”, and love to explore abandoned houses. I don’t obey stupid rules meant for stupid people :-) I am crazy adventurous like Dad and have a wandering spirit that has outpaced his. I still love walking down railway tracks. I still love the water, though I traded a muddy lake for open ocean.
I have a lot to be grateful for in regard to my Dad. I inherited many, many, many of his qualities — proof of nature over nurture, since he was not part fully part of my upbringing from age 5 to age 18. I wander the globe, can’t seem to settle down in one place; I am highly inquisitive and intelligent; I’ve got Dad’s blonde hair and blue eyes (Mom had blues too, but Irish-red hair); physically, I resemble him (and my Meemaw—very much); I am extremely creative; and I love nature.
I can find gratitude in the grief. I can sift out fond memories from the pollutants.
I miss the the Daddy of my memory from when I was 5, 7, and 10 years old.
I’ve learned to practice gratitude and I believe that at difficult times such as this one, it is best to keep to that practice.
I’m grateful that Dad remarried Okhee and gave me a wonderful loving step-Mom and two great sisters. I am lucky to have them as friends even though we didn’t grow up together either. Okhee has always been nicer to me than anyone. I’m grateful for all the lessons he taught me and those he didn’t mean to teach me.
Dad, I hope you have a better life next time; I hope you are healthier to the end. I’m glad that I closed my last email to you with: “I love you”. I hope you are somewhere at Enchanted Rock, breaking the rules by riding your bike all around the Rock, enjoying sunny skies and fair winds, and a fast ride with no traffic.
I love you, Daddy.
March 28, 2018