Carlson: Memories of My Father
Anniversaries can be a happy occasion or a sad reminder of something or someone lost. March 9th, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of my Dad’s death. I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a single day, or hour for that matter, that has passed that I haven’t missed my Dad. I miss his smile, I miss his laugh, I miss his loud voice, I miss the smell of his cologne, I miss his determination in everything he did. I miss car rides with him when he would turn the music up as loud as it would go and and we would sing along to the oldies. I miss the rides that he would give my brother and I in the bucket of the tractor and my Mom yelling at him not to let us do that. I miss the stories my Dad would tell us, even though we knew he was making most of the stories up. I miss going to auction sales with my Dad and buying crazy things. I miss road trips across North Dakota when my Dad was determined we were going east and we were really going west the entire time and drove half way across the state before he would admit that he might be wrong. I miss watching my Dad work on his vintage cars. I even miss all of his colorful four letter words. I miss watching my Dad put the Tribune together before it went to print. I miss playing jokes on my Dad with my brother. My Dad is a huge part of my life even though he is no longer on this earth he will forever be in my heart.
I only got to spend thirteen years with my dad, but I am thankful for every single day that God gave us together. There were many things that were important to my dad, but nothing more important than his faith and his family. My dad spent his last days saying goodbye to all of his family and friends. I remember the flood of people that were coming through our house to visit with him, and they were all so sad but my dad was the first to reassure them that everything was going to be ok; he knew that God had a plan for him and this was just part of it. It is absolutely amazing to me how my parents handled this life changing event for our family. I am getting closer to the age that my dad was when we lost him and I can’t imagine the pain, physical and emotional, that he went through during that time.
Both of our parents are incredible people and I am so lucky to have both of them, I did only get my dad for thirteen years, but at least I had that many years. My Mom is by far the most incredible human being I have ever known. She is brave, humble, patient, giving and probably the sweetest person you will ever meet. My mom has this incredible ability to take a situation, stop and think about it from different perspectives, and then come up with a logical and reasonable way to deal with it. I, on the other hand, go from 0 to 100 in about three seconds and don’t stop to think about things from a different point of view. As I have gotten older, I have tried really hard to work on this and still struggle with it but I am getting better every day. I can only hope to become half as wonderful as both of my parents are. I admire them both for many different reasons but I love them both more than anything in the world. When people say that there is always a rainbow after every storm I think of my stepdad Ron. Losing my dad was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but eight years after we lost my Dad, I got to watch my Mom fall in love all over again. The love that my Mom and Ron share is something that I thought could only come along once in a lifetime, but my mom loved my dad, and then God gave us Ron and she is so happy. Ron has always been so respectful of my dad, the family farm and my dad’s memory. I cry every time i think of how lucky we are to have someone so wonderful in our lives. I am even more happy that my mom will have someone that she will spend the rest of her life with.
Although it has been 20 years since we all said goodbye to my dad, I sometimes feel like it was yesterday that he closed his eyes for the last time. Although it was and is hard to deal with the loss of a loved one, I can trust that I will once again see my dad someday. Just knowing that is more than enough to get through the pain of him not being with us anymore. I miss him every single day but I know that he loves me and would want me to live my life to the fullest, just like he did. If you take nothing away from anything that I write, please do me this favor. Please hug the ones that you love and always, always tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. The three words, I love you, are more than just words.
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