|I grew up in a town so small you would think it was a stage set made for a short lived TV series.. Three bars, a general store, two churches, a post office and a extra large school in the center of town that housed the meager K-12 students and a gymnasium with a balcony, a stage and 2 rows of wooden plank seats around the complete perimeter of the gym floor tucked cozily away under the balcony. When I graduated from high school there were 56 of us. In the entire high school, not in my class. I've no idea how many students there were when I was still one of the "little kids."As a "little kid" one of my jobs was to run down to the bar and tell my dad|
"It's dinner time" or "Mom said you should come home now" or "Youuuu're in Trouble!"
I was the family tape recorder. I repeated everything verbatim all through grade school.Dad, after long hours in the field would often stop by the bar either on his way home or after a shower to unwind before dinner when six kids and a wife pounced on him. He was a combination of shy and Irish charming. I remember standing outside of the bar one day, listening to the laughter inside. It was so very different from home where laughter seldom seemed to flow. I remember thinking, "I wanna be just like my dad ... "One bar burned down, and then there were two local meeting spots.
My dad loved them.
My mom hated them. (or pretty much strongly disliked them)Life rotated and shifted, dad became busier in the fields as he added more land, mom's hands full of six kids, their activities and what ever else was going on in her head.It was a busy life. It was a full life. Even if it had missing pieces.I wonder if all adult children who have just lost their dad have that moment where you realize, "I'll never see him again ... " and death becomes the silent reality that is filled up with years and years of memories. Some good. Some not so good ... but all ending with a solid frame of peace and love.Totally love.I'm grateful my dad's suffering is over and that he is was finally called to rest in peace on Thursday, December 14th. The last three years were not kind to him, worse because he knew the differences as dementia and Parkinson's disease ate away at his body, his memory and his ability to speak.I will forever be that little girl watching with wide appreciative eyes as her handsome father made his friends laugh.I miss him more than you can know ...*I love you, Dad.*