My Dad (Sept 16, 1954 – May 27, 2009)
This will be a tough post for me. But I feel it needs to be done.Not only to get my feelings out, but to show others what a great man my Dad was. He lives on in my memories and I hope in yours, too. It’s been one year today since my father passed away. One year ago. That was the most horrifying day of life. I was on the other side of the world on a trip of a lifetime (Israel). I was flabbergasted at the news. I felt sick to my stomach, wanted to throw up. I wanted to hit something. I wanted to yell and cry at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t even get the emotions out, only tears and plenty of them. Was it anger? Was it sadness? I’m not sure, maybe both. Sadness for the loss of a great man and a great dad. I was angry at the situation. I was angry at God and at myself. I never phoned as much as I could have. I only called once a week (this is the norm for us). What would I have to say if I called more often than that? I guess I could have said “Hi.” I’m sure if I could phone him up right now, I could find plenty to talk about. Don’t get me wrong, when we would talk on the phone sometimes it was for an hour or more. We would talk about everything and nothing, from cars and jobs, to candy and dieting. I miss that…I really, really do.
Let me tell you about my Dad. He was a kind-hearted man that would give or do anything for anyone.Always surrounded himself with great friends and people. He loved to have house parties, eating lobster or just singing and playing the guitar. Jamming with whoever was around. He was loved and is greatly missed by all his family and friends. He was a good Christian, devoted to the church and to God. (hence my anger towards God) How could this being, this entity we call God take a man like that from this earth so soon? I guess we will never know what God’s plan is or even if there is a God. I question it each and every day since then.
My Dad drove a truck for most of my lifetime. It’s the only job I can remember him having now that I think about it. I always got to go to work with him even from a young age. Yep riding shotgun in the truck with my pops. I felt like king of the world all up high on that seat. Even as I got older, I would still go to work with him. If I had the day off school or was playing hookey, I would go and be his helper for the day. He would pick me up after school sometimes in the truck to take me home. It was great. Or deliver my forgotten lunch or take me with him to lunch if I had time. I loved all that. Not the truck part, but the spending time with the old man part. Just talking and listening to music, spending time together, maybe I’m simple, but to me that was quality time.
I remember my Dad teaching me to drive stick. That was a catastrophe. How friggin’ embarrassing. He would pick me up at school just before the buses came, you know while everyone was around, and make me drive. (it was a 1979 Volvo 4 speed, looked like a shoe box) I would try to go, and stall, and start, and stall. He just sat there and laughed. He would tell me to relax, let the clutch out easy and go. Easy for him to say, everyone wasn’t looking and laughing at him. But I did learn… eventually.
Old beat up cars was a passion for my Dad. We always had old worn-out cars, Volvos, Caddie, Buicks, big old boat for cars and old vans. It was always the same story. ”Wow what a car this was in its day.” (I can still hear him say that in my head) We would just say, “Yeah, sure Dad, but it’s not its day anymore.” Ah good memories, times and laughs we shared.
My Dad wasn’t a rich man, but always found money for us. School, trips and photos, and treats he was always buying us something. He would go without just to make sure that we were all happy. I always had a car to drive and money to take my girlfriend (at the time) out (even though I didn’t have a job or I had spent all of mine). He would say, “Here, take twenty or forty, but don’t tell your Mother. Drive safe and have fun.” Many nights he would have to come rescue me from a flat tire or the car not starting (battery dead) in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night. Just me and the girlfriend. How funny. He would just come fix the problem and never say anything again about it. I loved that man.
The Doucettes, well us for sure, didn’t express their feelings as much as we should have. I never told him that I loved him. Well, when I was young I’m sure I did. I mean as an adult. I really regret that. I will regret that until the day that I die. I know deep down inside that he loved me and was very proud of me. Like on my wedding day. You could see it in his face. And I’m sure he knew that I loved him. But it’s just not the same as telling the person. One of the things that bothers me the most is not that he is gone, (believe me that bothers me a lot) but the fact that he will not be around for my kids. (maybe I’m just being selfish) He would have made an excellent grandpa,. just as his dad was for me. My kids (whenever they come along) will only know of him from pictures and stories. But don’t worry, there will be lots.
It is not the length of your life that matters, but the depth of it. Or so I’ve been told. Dad jumped into life and never touched bottom.
Rest in Peace Dad – I love you….