August 9, is the anniversary of my Dad’s death. If he were still with us today, he would have been 93.
My Dad fought a long, hard and brave fight against COPD and emphysema. He had been a smoker – first cigarettes, then cigars and pipes. I once heard him express regret over smoking, but the 1930s and 40s were a different time. It never came up, but I would bet money that he would have been sorely upset if any of us had taken up smoking.
He didn’t talk much about his childhood. His own mother died when he was nine so he didn’t talk much about his own childhood. But once in a while – especially when my aunt, his older sister visited, family stories would creep out. He (and she) signed their own report cards. His family went on a camping trip in the early 1920s to Gettysburg, where his grandfather had fought, and to Washington, DC. He sat in one of the chairs in the White House.
He loved chocolate – and I think may have genetically passed that on to all four of us. He could fix just about anything; that’s something he did not pass on. He couldn’t spell, but he could burp “oh baby”. An excellent driver, I don’t believe he ever had an accident; all the dings in his cars in the late 1960s – those were from me.
When my Dad died in 2004, one of my friends told me that there won’t be a day that passes when you won’t miss him. She was right. Especially today.