I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately. Maybe it's because I just saw my brother for the first time in close to a year, and my brother looks JUST like him. Maybe it's because as my kids get older I remember specific things that my dad used to do with me and my brothers, and I try to emulate him. Maybe it's because I'd just really like to talk to him about some stuff.
I have a recurring dream every six months. Invariably, my Dad walks into my house, he announces he was just taking a break from it all, but assures us that he's back for good. I give him the biggest hug any son has ever given any father, and then I wake up, my face and pillow dripping with tears from the sweetness, but the tears don't immediately end because of the awareness that he isn't back for good.
You've never known someone quite like my Dad.
He was hilarious. But not in a class clown kind of way. He let people talk. He was comfortable letting other people feel good about themselves; he had no need to be the center of attention. I remember watching him talk to certain men, like our neighbor - my Dad's cousin and probably closest friend at the time - or his uncles, and he would about fall over laughing. I always wondered what they were saying. And now I know. Because I have those conversations with my own friends, away from my kids and my wife, and we just, you know, talk about funny, stupid, even sometimes a little bit bawdy stuff.
When I was little, I loved that my Dad was so tall. He stood 6' 3.5" on his "good leg." I could always find him in a crowd. He was almost always the tallest of the dads, and that was a source of pride for me.
My Dad imparted a lot to me. He loved learning. He loved language. He loved his boys. He adored my Mom. I've never seen anyone with a better ability to find the little things about life or people that nobody else saw, but that he appreciated. He was a godly man, but not in a pious way. He quietly loved the Lord with all of his heart, soul, and mind.
My dad favored girls. I think that's why God never gave him one. He loved my wife, whom he only referred to as "The Princess." He would just melt if he knew my daughter. She'd be his favorite of our kids; I know that for a fact. And I would be totally okay with that.
More often than I would probably admit out loud, I'd like to ask his advice on something, but I can't. I married young, 21, and he died only a month later. I was still a boy, or at best a young man. So, I missed out on getting to know him as one man gets to know another man, or as one father gets to know another father.
I don't think I have a point here. Just wanted to reflect a little.
And maybe just to say, go hug your dad.