For my Dad

I was heading out to the store last night to grab some food.  Along my way, I came across a bread truck sitting by the side of the road, and I couldn’t help but think of one of my fondest memories of my Dad and I.  He had worked the overnight shift for a bread company dropping off loaves of bread to the local supermarkets, and deli’s.  My father was always one to do whatever it took to make sure ends were to meet at home.  This would of course sometimes interfere with some of our personal time.  But Dad was always one to make sure one way or another family didn’t take a back seat.  My father one day asked me if I would like to join him during the overnights on the weekends to help deliver bread.  I can’t even remember how old I was, but I had jumped at the chance.  I can remember many a night riding in that big truck, getting orders ready, dropping them off in their bins or bringing them into the supermarket, and then falling asleep on the way home on the shelves of the truck.  To this day I can still remember the smell of the bread, standing by the open door of the truck, and just chilling with Dad.

Later on the trend continued.  During my High School years I had helped work on some of the Limousines with Bob, while my Dad was inside dispatching.  This later led to me driving on numerous occasions.  As a driver, my father pushed me hard, 10-16 hours of driving at a time, making sure I always had work, just to make sure I was able to bring enough home to pay the bills, or to make sure that ends would meet.  He taught me the virtue of a good day of hard honest work, and that you didn’t get anything for free.  Something I learned never to expect, and I don’t think ever asked for, even to the point that sometimes I have let myself hit rock bottom, before he would step in and say, “You know, you can ask for help”.  For some reason, this never really clicked for me.

Over the years I have watched all my family pass away from afar.  Both of my grandparents on both sides of the family, my great grandmother, and one of my best friends.  I remember on so many times always trying to keep my composure, making sure I was the strong one for my family, then waiting till I was alone, afterward to finally let go.

Needless to say, my Dad is the last survivor of my elders, well other than his sister, my Aunt Carolyn.  My mother passed away a few years ago on Easter morning, right here in Denver.  I can still remember the call.  I heard it in his voice, and I remember saying, “Just tell me”.  My dad kept my Mum on life support until the family could all come and say their last respects.  I was the last one to arrive.  I spent some time with her, walked out, gave my Dad a big hug, and said, “Do what you need to do, I know she is already gone.”  I pretty much kept my shit together until finally at the Memorial Service I lost it.  I hadn’t the chance to tell my mother I love you before she was gone.

My dad called me the other day, there was a certain unsteadiness to his voice, and once again I knew something serious was going on.  So in my usual way, I said, “What’s up?”

Dad: Question for you?

Me: Sure, anything.

Dad: Mary and I are off to have our wills done.  I would like to know, if by chance… Mary precedes me, would you be able to pull the plug if by chance I was forced to live my life in the hospital, or under critical care, knowing that was the only thing keeping me alive?

Me: (I paused for a moment… knowing that a delay would only show my hesitation to take on such a huge responsibility)  Yes Dad I could do it, I wouldn’t want to, but I could do it.

Dad: Good, I knew you could if it came down to it. Gotta go, Love ya.

Me: Love you too Dad.

Wow, I had to lay there for a moment.  Hard to think about right now, heck I was just Best Man at his wedding a few months ago.  Memories rushed through my head.  And all I could think about was the amazing life my Dad had, full of trials and tribulations, but always with zest, longing for more.

Well I don’t want to think about this to much more right now, but instead think about all the great things my Dad has done, and continues to do.

And to make sure I don’t miss the opportunity to say it.

I LOVE YOU DAD!!  Thank you!

*Make sure you all take the time to let your parents know you love them*

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