Two years ago today my dad died. They've been a long two years. Sometimes I feel like it's been much longer. Other times I awake from dreams of him, that seem so real that I am no longer sure if he is alive or dead.
I don't spend lots of time speaking, or even thinking, about my dad. I'm always hesitant to share stories about him, especially with those whom I'm not sure if they know that my dad has passed away. But today is dad day. I get to think about my dad, tell stories about him, enjoy the memories and be a little sad. Still, I have to function, I have things to do, I don't get the whole day just to mourn.
There are many stories I could tell about my dad. This is a story about when he made me feel like the most important person in the world. When I was 7ish, my dad read Heidi to me. That summer the two of us went hiking. Half way up the mountain we entered a sloped green field, beautifully alive with wild flowers. We sat down to have our lunch, and my dad told me that I was Heidi, and he was Peter and we entered into the world of pretend. It was lovely.
It's dad day, one more story:
My dad also ready the Little House on the Prairies books to me. I was rereading one of them and I think those books may have been what inspired me to ask my dad to tell me stories about his childhood. He would make excuses, saying that he wasn't good at telling stories, or that he couldn't remember any. This always make me a little sad, but he'd read to me, and for that I am so thankful. I told my dad that he had to take me to Bolivia, the country where he spent a large portion of his childhood. When I was 18, we went to Bolivia, and there I finally heard stories about his childhood. We went hiking and came across these large rock formations. I wish I could remember what they were called, but I believe the name reflected the idea that they were guards. My dad shared with me that as a kid he was never allowed to climb the rocks. I tried to get him to climb them, but he claimed to was too old. Rather he lived his childhood dream vicariously through me as he encouraged me to climb the rocks. It was great. He encouraged me all the way up, helped me to find handholds and took pictures of my accomplishments. I'm so thankful for all the times my dad let me be a kid and climb trees and mountains and rocks, and dig holes in our back yard and get dirty and just play.