another lucky tuesday post - but i have to admit, i don't feel so lucky today.
today would have been my dad's 65th birthday. he died five years ago in march, roughly nine months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. since he was in canada & i was over here, i only saw him twice during that period; once just after he received the news that his cancer was terminal, and then for the few days that he was dying in hospital. i actually wasn't even supposed to be there the second time; i'd seen a last minute cheap flight deal & had booked a week's holiday without telling anyone, and just showed up on my parents' doorstep one day with my bags. two days after i arrived my dad went into hospital with pneumonia, and a few days later he died.
even five years later, "event" days like today are still really hard. although i didn't see my dad very much after i moved away from home, i would still always talk to him on the phone - he wasn't a great phone conversationalist (like a lot of guys, i suspect!) but on any big day (my birthday, christmas, his birthday) we would always have a chat. it's still weird not to talk to him when those days roll around, even after five years.
this picture was taken during my trip over to canada when he found out his cancer was terminal. he was already pretty sick, and couldn't walk very far (the cancer had spread to his spine, & he was in pain a lot of the time). most of my family were there that week, and we took a trip out to a local park where we used to go when we were kids - it had a huge hill in the middle of it, & we used to climb the hill & fly kites from the top. by that point my dad was too weak to make it up the hill, but he was still determined to have a good time, so he & i "flew" a kite in the parking lot (if you look closely, i'm pretty sure he's saying "wheee!").
my dad had a great singing voice & played guitar & autoharp. he loved telling stories & singing songs, the sillier the better. he adored bad puns & terrible jokes, and laughed a lot, even when he was in the hospital. & he was a big fan of action fims, especially arnold schwarzenegger (if he had stuck around long enough to see arnie become governor of california, he would have laughed for about six months). he listened to a lot of music from the 50s & 60s, and when we were joking around, he'd get called "daddy-o". we definitely had our disagreements, - because of his upbringing & his religious beliefs, he had a really hard time when i got my first girlfriend. but ultimately he just wanted me to be happy, and did everything he could to make sure i was.
from my dad, i get my love of awful puns & ridiculous jokes. i get my ability to make up silly songs for every occasion, and my musical talent. i get my seriously sweet tooth, and my enjoyment of bad action movies. i get my hair that wings out at the sides uncontrollably once it gets past a certain length.
& i get it now - even though he & i didn't always see eye to eye, he truly loved me & would have done anything for me. although he's not around anymore, i got to have an amazing dad for 25 years...