Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

            The first few years after Dad’s death, I used to get frustrated because I never dreamed about him. Obviously, I missed him and wanted a few more minutes even if it was in the dream realm. The worst part about losing Dad was sometimes something really funny would happen like the time Rags got us booted off the Today Show and I’d reach for my phone while laughing to call. Then it would hit me. Damn.

            I finally did dream about him in a dream that I’d rather not recant but it did change my life. The important part was while we stood in a back room of Sharp Memorial Church back in Young Harris, Dad chuckled at my frustration (like he was prone to do). He didn’t understand why I was so upset. I told him I had been looking for him and he wasn’t around.

            Dad made one his funny sounds and told me,” Son, look around. I am right in front of you just like I have always been.  All you have to do is just pay attention which you never do.” He laughed that big laugh that we all remember, hugged me and said, ” Now if you excuse, kind sir, I have to go find you sister and your mother.” He walked off but not away.
Hell Freezes Over Party also known as  My Grad Nite 1995
123 Cunningham

            Ever since then, I dream about him a lot. So much, in fact, it is normal that we hang out in my dreams and I don’t even remember he is gone until I wake up. My frustrations are gone about this too. I usually wake up and smile. I just hope he visits Mary and Mom too.

            As I began the first few paragraphs a little while ago, Roni came up to me and gave me a big hug. “Good morning, Step-Papa,” she said. “Happy First Father’s Day with your new family.” Awesome-sauce.
My little girl. I get to say that now. Awesome.

            Today is the first time in 13 years I have not dreaded this day. My new family has gone out of their way to make me feel special but they do that every day. I appreciate the fact that I now have a day but to be truthful, every day is Father’s Day for me. From scolding Roni for talking back to her mother to yesterday when I yelled at Jude during the yard sale because he couldn’t stay away from my box of action figures I had collected for Mary’s Geek Nativity Scene several years back. You take the good; you take the bad……

            Today is also Jude’s 8th birthday so we have taken to calling this day, “Man’s Day.” Later we are grilling burgers by the pool and I plan to smoke a few cigars with a nice glass of Maker’s Mark. The only way life could get any better would be if Jimmy Buffett’s tour bus broke down in front of the house and he offered to play Jude’s Birthday Party because he smelled my amazing Cheeseburgers in Paradise and had to have one. But I digress.
"Sir, you rock."
"No, sir, you rock."

            My wish for you today is that you get to find some way to spend time with your father. Whether y’all have something special planned or you just sit around and laugh about that time when. One thing I have learned now that I am Dad is that I can guarantee he is thinking about you. That is what Dad’s do.

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