Memories of My Father

Things I am afraid to forget about my father:

  1. That he smells like old spice and sunscreen
  2. The way he tilts his head back and to the side when he laughs, as if to say, ‘aw, shucks.’
  3. That he took me to breakfast every Wednesday morning in my childhood
  4. That he always wanted to share our food. He’d split it down the ‘middle’, and I would usually get the smaller ‘half’
  5. That he took me on the golf course to learn how to play, and I told him, “Now Dad, I’ve only been on this earth 6 short years.”
  6. That he bought me flowers after I got upset because he hit pop up balls to my brother (an outfielder) and hit grounders to me (short stop)
  7. That he would practice my spelling words in the car with me at red lights
  8. That he would play me to sleep with a guitar every night when I was a little girl
  9. The way he cried on my 16th birthday and that he gave me an opal because he wanted someone else to be able to afford to get me a bigger diamond one day
  10. All the bluegrass gigs and songs, every one of them
  11. That he taught me how to swim and ski at the Lake
  12. That when he was sick he would be asleep and pull out an imaginary pick from his pocket to play the mandolin
  13. That when he was sick he would ask me to check on his patients for him
  14. The way he would smile at my jokes, even when they weren’t very funny
  15. How proud he was the year I got the starring role as Mary in the Christmas play, and how proud he was the year I played the donkey (he cried over this one more times than I can count)
  16. The way he would enter a patients rooms and ask, “What’s troubling you today?”
  17. His medical laws: Dr Bobby’s Rule #1 Always think of what might kill your patient before you get to see them again, and rule that out. And, Temple’s Law #1 A women is pregnant until proven otherwise.
  18. Making rounds with him on the weekends and when school was out
  19. How much he loves coke, nip chee crackers and wintogreens
  20. How proud he was of his friend’s successes
  21. How much he loves his family
  22. How he won me the 8 foot alligator at Carowins
  23. How perfectly my little hand fit into his, even when my hand had grown up with me
  24. How he would wrap his little pinkie in tape before he played golf
  25. How one hand had more sun spots than the other because one hand was covered by a golf glove when he was outside
  26. How he would eat at Chen’s (chinese) every Friday at lunch, and when I came home for the weekend from college, I could always find him there.
  27. How Darin described their relationship a ‘pure’ filled with love and mutual support and caring
  28. That he would take me to get ice cream after we finished unloading the recycling at the dump

I am sure I will come back to this list frequently, and add a few more.  I’m terrified I will forget.  I will do anything to hold onto memories of my father.


10 thoughts on “Memories of My Father

  1. Writing these things down is good to do, and will make you happy to read in years to come. My son died 8 years ago, so I can tell you that your fear is normal. I can also tell you that you will NOT forget. I can even remember the sound of his voice, and you will too. Fear not. :0)

    • Hey. I cried when I read this, and I’m sorry I don’t have an elegant response. I’m so relieved that you remember and that hopefully I will too. Thank you for telling me that I will remember.
      I can’t even imagine losing a child. This is so hard, and I can’t even imagine… Thank you so much for your words. Right now every glimmer of hope is so deeply appreciated. Sending joy your way!

  2. I agree. You won’t forget. Look at everything you wrote and how long ago some of those memories are. You haven’t forgotten. It’s actually a very nice tribute you wrote to your Dad. You should read this to him.

    I lost my Mom almost 19 years ago and I haven’t forgotten anything. I can still tell you everything about her. My memories. Her perfume scent. Her hairspray smell! Everything.

    My son passed 4 years ago and I remember it all as well.

    You never forget. Your mind remembers the deep love.


  3. Thank you Tiffani. As much as I my friends all believe I’m handling this so well, I am just not ready for this. I am not ready to stop making memories. I don’t exactly know how to get through this, but losing a child would just crush me. I’m just not that strong. I am so glad you have memories of your son and mother.
    Somehow you reminding me that many of these things are memories from 20 years ago that I still have so vividly today, makes me feel a little better- like I really can remember. Thank you for telling me your story and for helping encourage me to believe I will remember. A little encouragement goes a long ways for me right now. Thanks.

  4. You’re welcome 🙂

    I don’t ever like to give up hope so I still hold out hope for your Dad. I don’t like to sound negative so as I’ve said before hold out hope and also be realistic.

    But if I can share something from my own experience with my Mom … you can still make memories. Maybe they are not the memories you want to make but you can still think of beautiful things to say and do. Reading, talking, writing. Whatever you can do, do it.

    Do not let any words go unspoken. NO matter what. Tell your Dad everything you feel. Allow him and encourage him (if he wants to) to share with you as well. Those will be bittersweet memories but they will be ones you both cherish. Make sure you have no regrets.

    If you ever want to talk I’m here.

    I know this journey is a difficult and heartbreaking one.

    But please do know that you can face every day. It might not be a good day and it might feel like the earth is opening up below you and swallowing you up. You might feel like time is standing still for you while everyone else moves forward but you will make it. You might not feel like you want to but you will. You will find courage and strength within yourself and you will draw from the memories and the strength of your Dad and you will make it.

    Believe me. And know you have people to talk to.


    • Thanks. My dad had a few good hours last night when we sat up and watched old clips of the Grand Ole Opry. Even though you have to listen very carefully to hear and understand him now, he could tell me about everyone playing. Tonight my brother, sister-in-law and nephew (dad’s 8 month old grandson) are flying in. Those will be good memories too. Thank you so, so much for you support. I can’t even tell you how much that means to me.

    • Thank you Susan. I started this blog because I thought writing some things down would help me cope better with everything that’s happening. But what I did not expect is that I would receive and truly feel the support of other’s on here. Nor did I expect to get so much comfort from reading their stories, and realizing that I’m not crazy or dramatic, but that I am supposed to have fear and hurt and sadness. Thank you for seeing how much I love my daddy. Means the world to me. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Yup, you can rest asssured that you will not forget. And it’s amazing how many different things in day to day life are reminders when you least expect them. Since your father is part of the fabric of your life, those threads will always continue and will continue to weave through everything you do in the future.
    The toughest thing for me when I lost my dad was the inability to make new memories with him, but as time passes, I have realized that I kind of do. I feel him here with me in those threads. He is in me, and so is my mom, and in a strange way they are part of what I do. I still hear my mom laugh or sneeze sometimes when I do. I see my dad’s eyes in the mirror or the tip of his head in a photo of me that a friend tags. And even my new interests, activities and choices I make tie me back to them and I remember. I have new pride in them, and new love for them…new memories.

    Anyway, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve collected your thoughts and feelings on this part of your life’s journey. I have treasured my journal entries from those special times with my parents and after losing them. And though you won’t forget these memories, it’s an awesome thing to have them all listed together in this special place.

    And thanks for sharing them with us. It’s a beautiful list and made me smile. 🙂

  6. Others have said this to you…but I will just repeat it. I can promise you that you will not forget any of these things. I promise. And when you are afraid that you will, I will be here to remind you and read the list with you.

    This was a beautiful list of memories about a beautiful person.

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